According to The Sun, an event promoter called the Ravens offering to broker an agreement between the rock group and the team for use of M&T Bank Stadium. This was confirmed by a club official.
But there was one problem â€“ the date.
August 4 the Ravens are scheduled to host a scrimmage against the Washington Redskins.
After a month of trying to coordinate a compromise date, the negotiations with the promoter, Seth Hurwitz, have apparently fallen through.
Gregory J. Smith, president of the Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Commission, told The Sun, "You need a number of days to set up so it’s not like you could just have it on Aug. 2 or Aug. 6. But [the Police] just didn’t have anything available either before of after that weekend that worked."
As a fan of The Police, this little revelation had me preparing a message in a bottle to the Ravens. Couldnâ€™t they work out something? I mean câ€™mon, this tour is a pretty big deal and it isnâ€™t exactly a regular occurrence when Baltimore gets to host such a musical act, particularly one that features a band that hasnâ€™t stepped in a studio together since the 80â€™s.
Can we have a little synchronicity here?
The news was like a humiliating kick in the crotch. Doubled over and feeling like the king of pain, I reached out to the Ravens. A team spokesperson told me that the Ravens and the Redskins have an agreement that calls for them to alternate hosting the annual scrimmage. August 4 is unfortunately the scheduled date.
I asked if it might be possible to do the scrimmage at McDaniel College on Friday and then allow The Police to play at M&T on Saturday (Aug 4). The spokesperson said that the agreement calls for the use of M&T Bank Stadium and that Bair Stadium at McDaniel can no longer safely host the annual scrimmage that now draws 30,000 people.
The Ravens’ spokesperson also went on to say that large musical acts like The Police typically structure very one-sided agreements in which they are the primary beneficiaries leaving little for anyone else. I was also reminded that Maryland charges a higher tax on these events than neighboring DC and Philly and that in part is why Maryland is passed up on by big acts at times. (The all to kind Rolling Stones and U2 tolerated the litter box down on Howard Street.)
And while this might be an acceptable reason for the Ravens inability to compromise with the promoter for The Police, you would think there might be some way to work this out.
The first question that comes to mind is, "How important are these scrimmages anyway?"
They are boring, they are really no different than a normal ho-hum day at training camp – the only differences being the venue and the fact that the players aren’t banging around their teammates.
My second question is a two-parter: "If the Ravens only make a little money, what’s the big deal? Aren’t they helping the community whose tax dollar provided for the stadium that affords the Ravens a bonanza of profitability?"
Perhaps there’s more than meets the eye here and the promoter doesn’t really have The Police locked up at all. Maybe he’s simply trying to broker a "what-if" deal. At least I hope that’s the case. Otherwise I’m seeing Steve Bisciotti and Gordon Gekko in the same vane.
And somehow, I feel like heâ€™s got me wrapped around his finger.