When you win the Super Bowl, one of the perks is that you are guaranteed the chance to play your first game of the best season at home. But the Baltimore Ravens will not be continuing that tradition, as the team will be forced to play on the road for the first game of the season thanks to a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles of Major League baseball.
The issue stems entirely from parking, as Camden Yard and M&T Bank Stadium share parking lots, and it would be impossible to play two games on the same day within hours of one another. There was some hope that moving the Orioles September 5th game against the Chicago White Sox to a day game would allow the Ravens to play at home in the opener, but not only would that still be logistically confusing, Major League Baseball refused to approve the move.
The Ravens released a statement today confirming that they will open up on the road, but will still play their game on a traditional Thursday night.
“After thorough discussions among the Orioles, the NFL and the Ravens, it became clear that holding both an Orioles’ game and the Ravens’ regular season opener on the same day would create logistical situations that would cause serious issues for the city of Baltimore, and fans for both teams. The Ravens greatly appreciate the willingness of the Orioles to adjust the start of their game in an effort to make this sports spectacular happen. But, in the end, anticipated problems with parking, rush-hour traffic, plus crowd and car congestion around Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium, will keep the doubleheader from taking place.”
Possible destinations for the Ravens season opener include Pittsburgh, Denver, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Miami, Detroit, Chicago and Buffalo as those are all teams that the Ravens are scheduled to play on the road in 2013. Detroit seems to be the best option as it’s an indoor stadium that really couldn’t be more neutral than any of the other sites mentioned. But it’s also likely that the NFL wants to cash in on this and schedule the Ravens against an AFC rival, meaning their reward for winning the Super Bowl would be to return to Denver, head to Pittsburgh or open in Cincinnati.
But Miami is arguably the most likely option as it’s a party town that Ray Lewis has great ties to and it would be a rare sellout for the Dolphins that may help boost the upcoming stadium vote.
Either way, the Ravens won’t be able to open their season at home which means even if you win the Super Bowl, the Baltimore Orioles are able to stand in your way.