“The Bank”: Among the Nation’s Best

M T Bank Stadium

Going to M&T Bank Stadium for Ravens’ home games is a Baltimore favorite for over 70,000 people in Charm City. Many like to enjoy the game at their own home with the dozens of camera angles and couch, but the stadium in Baltimore makes it easy to spend the money on some pricey tickets.

Much has been made about enhancing fan experience at NFL stadiums to reel in more fans, but the great folks in Baltimore haven’t, and won’t be having any issue selling out games any time soon as M&T Bank Stadium has been at 100% capacity since the stadium opened. I’m guessing this initiative was designed for the Miami Dolphins, who just had a 76% attendance rating in 2012, rounding out the NFL according to ESPN.

It’s clear why M&T has such an outstanding reputation around the league.

“AAA Ravens Walk” entering the stadium is the perfect start to the day providing multiple food and bar outlets, and the perfect spot to hang out with your fellow purple-brethren. Live music and games get you ready for the best event in Baltimore.

The two HD jumbo-trons, both 24 feet high and 100 wide, on either side of the field makes it easy to choose if you want to watch the play unfold on the field, or the enormous live-screening of the play on the boards. The staff upstairs keeps everyone in the stadium up to date with statistics from not just the game down on the field, but others around the league. With the replays of NFL Redzone, it is easy to follow other games happening at the same time.

The seating around “The Bank” is perfect for everyone as there isn’t a bad seat in the house. I have personally taken in a game from seats throughout the stadium and have to admit that finding a bad seat is pretty hard to do. Spacious seating and even cup holders help the experience while sitting down (if you can do that during a football game) just that much better.

An ESPN the Magazine issue that came out in September took all 122 professional “big-four sport” teams and ranked the fan experience from 1-122. Impressively, the Ravens came in 14th of all teams, and 4th in the NFL. They recognized that the community rallies around the team during purple Fridays, and the overall fan dedication. Affordability knocked the Ravens fan experience down just a bit, but overall the study was pleased with everything that M&T Bank had to offer.

After digging around some other surveys, websites, and studies, I saw that Baltimore was surprisingly high on most rankings. The biggest thing that visitors wanted to see was better food. I personally enjoy the pit beef and crab chips that Hightopps Backstage Grille offers, and Papa John’s with Boardwalk Fries adds a nice touch.

Announced just this offseason, the stadium will be getting some significant upgrades in the next few years. These will include 4 new LED boards inside that will be able to show out-of-town scores and stats. Two more boards will be installed in front of gates A and D for fans to see as they enter. Among the 35-million dollar renovations will be expanded colored lighting (purple of course). The stadium is great as it is now, but these new additions could help M&T Bank Stadium rise even higher on this coming year’s list.

No doubt, being a fan of the Ravens has its huge perks when traveling to the game.

Would you want to see anything different about M&T?

How does it compare to other stadiums you have visited?

Does it deserve to be ranked #1 in the NFL?

Weigh in below in the comments section!

How could the Ravens improve your game day experience? (Choose two)
Total voters: 625
Develop a more efficient stadium entrance system (24%)
Install escalators (24%)
Build a retractable dome (15%)
Expand the bathrooms (24%)
Crack down on unruly fans (13%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
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About Joe Wedra

Joe Wedra
Joe is an NFL enthusiast that spends way too much time studying tape, but he wouldn't want it any other way. Joe can be found on Twitter @JoeWedra, where he'll tweet out everything from Ravens analysis to scouting reports on Division II offensive line prospects...all for the love of the...more

18 Raves on ““The Bank”: Among the Nation’s Best

  1. Ravenwoman on said:

    I eventually see a dome stadium for our football team whether it be M&T Bank or a new constructed stadium. The NFL will never rest in trying to improve the comfort and game day experience for its fans. I don’t think the fans of Baltimore would ever risk losing another NFL franchise because of the lack of stadium improvements or upgrades.

    • Joe on said:

      Disagree on the dome. Meadowlands is the newest stadium and it was not built with a dome. Plus, they are a further north stadium than us AND it affects TWO NFL clubs!

      Domed football is nice, but I like having the gritty football conditions. Maybe not a Snow Bowl like in New England or Buffalo, but having to deal with the conditions in an atmosphere like ours can make for some great football.

      I also don’t think we need escalators. I’d focus on stadium entry and unruly fans. If we had a third, expand the bathrooms.

      • Elizabeth Guthrie on said:

        Agree with the above. Unruly fans ranks up there with me. I experienced a really obnoxious dude at the playoff game with the Colts. He was rude, mouthy, and made a real jackass of himself. He was obviously drunk, but he made things uncomfortable for us around him. I was glad he left so many times to relieve himself. Why spend all that money on a game and then ruin it for yourself and everyone around you! I felt he did a disserve to the Ravens.

    • oddball on said:

      As a person who has had his tickets from the beginning I can tell the main difference. It went from men and woman going to a football game and party and we did. To a family driven fun park. The security has gotten so bad that if you yell to loud for your team they take you away.
      Now the family’s can’t afford the games anymore and the people that party stay at there roost so they don’t get in trouble anymore.
      The game is more fun to be at but the people who like to drink a little stay at the roost now.

  2. Matt on said:

    I love the Ravens and the gameday experience in general is great, but the food in that stadium is horrendous. I’ve been to more than 25 professional sports venues and it’s easily among the worst. Please introduce more local vendors and fresher options inside of the stadium in place of Aramark’s hyper-processed, microwaved junk.

  3. Bev Wall on said:

    We are season ticket holders and love our section. Lots of season ticket holders in our section who have been there since day one. Nothing is better than a Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

  4. purple reign on said:

    It’s a great experience, and the dedicated, knowledgeable fans are a big reason. Two biggest things to improve are the WiFI and the food. I read that the NFL plans to upgrade WiFI in all stadiums but is delaying it until it strikes a deal with one big wireless sponsor. Can’t wait. Now, my battery runs dry by halftime because the phone can’t find the network. Agree with Matt on the food — bring in local restaurants and show off the real Baltimore. Papa John’s is corporate cardboard shipped from a warehouse in Indiana.

  5. Les on said:

    I never want to see a domed stadium for football. Football is mean to be outdoors, in the elements. I understand some of the reasons behind it (more events, like NCAA basketball, etc.) but don’t do it!

  6. Brian on said:

    The stadium was supposed to have a dome but they ran out of money or to save money it was built so that the dome could be added onto it at a later date but then you never heard any more about it.
    As for escalators I doubt they will be in a hurry to do that after the escalator tragedy at Memorial Stadium that cause them to be removed.
    Here is a story By Rafael Alvarez that was published by the Sun Newspaper.
    It was Safety Patrol Day, and 20,000 kids got in free at Memorial Stadium to celebrate a year of helping their classmates make it to and from school without anything bad happening to them.

    But before the Orioles took the field against the Cleveland Indians, one child was dead, a dozen or more were seriously injured and 46 others were hurt.

    The Memorial Stadium escalator accident of May 2, 1964, turned a day of fun for schoolchildren from around the state into an afternoon of terror and mangled bodies.

    It started during the national anthem, but with all the noise inside the stadium, almost no one in the stands heard the cries or knew what was going on between the lower and upper decks along the third base side.

    Said one witness the day of the accident, “It looked like someone had gone through here with a hatchet.”

    The hatchet was 48 feet of sharp metal stair treads measuring 40 inches wide, 16 inches deep and moving at 120 feet per minute, the instrument of the worst accident in the history of Memorial Stadium.

    Excited and eager to get to their free seats, hundreds of young people were getting on three and four at a time at the bottom of the escalator only to find out that the top of the stairs was blocked by a narrow metal gate that allowed only one person to get off at a time.

    Kids began falling back on top of one another in a crush of bodies pinned down and cut as the escalator kept running until someone finally found the shut-off switch.

    • Evan on said:

      That’s sad to hear and all. But it’s 2013 and that would probably have no influence what so ever on to them adding an escalator to M&T with as many escalators that are in stadiums now.

  7. Rodger on said:

    The worst part about the M&T experience is the Marching Ravens. I love it when there is a ceremony at half time and the band has to sit on the sidelines. I hope I never have to hear a rendition of Ozzy or Metallica ever again. The seats they sit in should be converted to PSL’s and sold, I am just glad I don’t sit near them in the stadium, would have given up season tickets a long time ago.

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