“The Bank”: Among the Nation’s Best

Street Talk “The Bank”: Among the Nation’s Best

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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)

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Joe Wedra

About 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 game!

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