After a turmoil-filled 2014 offseason, the Ravens are looking forward to a clean slate as they prepare for the beginning of the 2015 league year.
During Tuesday’s “State of the Ravens” press conference, team owner Steve Bisciotti and team president Dick Cass spoke at great length about how the team plans to move forward after such a negative light was shed on the organization after the off-the-field incidents last year.
First and foremost, it’s impossible for the Ravens brass to police the entire roster when it comes to offseason. It’s up to the players and even team employees to understand the importance of representing the Baltimore Ravens whether in or out of uniform. Much like we represent our employers, even while off the clock in our every day lives, they do too.
No one is perfect, but we must be prepared to face the consequences for the blunders that we make.
Thankfully for the Ravens, Baltimore fans love their team and the organization didn’t suffer any financial setbacks as a result of those blunders.
“I think it’s as strong,” Bisciotti responded when asked if he thought that the offseason issues caused any damage to the relationship with the organization’s strong fan base. “I think that people can be disappointed or they can be somewhat in disagreement with how you handle it or critical of how you handle something, but they still take things as a whole in the proper perspective.”
“No, I don’t see [damage]. I don’t think that it’s a long-term effect. I think that – like we talk about the players, that we consider character issues, and we talk about repeating offenses versus making a mistake – I think that we have every right to be judged the same way. I think that our fans have the right to be sensitive and expect us to perform better than maybe some of them thought we did. And that’s our goal – to perform better and have them say, ‘I’m glad the way they responded.’”
Don’t perceive Bisciotti’s words as a smoke screen. I assure you the boss isn’t taking these situations lightly.
Team president Dick Cass echoed Steve’s words with sincere emotion stating the team may not be as lucky if another event occurs of the same magnitude as the Ray Rice situation.
“We have not seen a direct impact on sales,” said Cass. “I think that fans would – next time we have an incident that’s a very sensitive incident that requires careful attention and careful handling – they’re going to scrutinize us a lot more closely than they would have [before].”
“They gave us, I think … The fans, I hope, have given us the benefit of the doubt. But the next time we have a situation like we did last fall, we’re going to have to perform better, or we’ll lose the respect and trust of the fans.”
In a move that will make the Russell Street Report’s Tony Lombardi happy, Dick Cass announced the Ravens will be putting a new Wi-Fi system at M&T Bank Stadium this season. The cost of the new system won’t come cheap and more importantly for season ticket holders it won’t come at the expense of raising ticket prices.
“We always look at what other teams are doing and how we slot in terms of our average ticket price and decided we didn’t need to raise prices this year to maintain a position that we’d like to maintain,” Cass stated. “We do think that given the money we spend and the improvements we keep making at the stadium, we can justify being one of the more expensive tickets in the league, but we don’t want to be the most expensive. We don’t want to be in the top five.”
“We sort of look at what everyone else is doing and make a judgment each year, and we just didn’t think it was the right time to do it. We are making some more improvements this offseason. We finished that $35 million renovation at the stadium last season,”
“This offseason we’re putting in Wi-Fi. It’s going to be a brand new Wi-Fi system. It should enable all our fans to be able to access everything you want to access during a game,” said Cass. “I hope most fans are watching the game, but if you get bored you can turn to your phone and get whatever you want. It’ll be a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi system. It’s going to cost about $5 million to put it in.”
Finally Tony will stop complaining….I kid.
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