BALTIMORE- The Baltimore Ravens announced Thursday a two-year, $35 million investment that will enhance the fan experience at M&T Bank Stadium with improvements to video boards, concession stands and all concourses.
The first phase of improvements will begin this spring, with extensive upgrades to the stadium's lower concourse and video boards to be completed before the Ravens' 2013 preseason home opener. The second phase of work, which will target the upper concourse, is scheduled to begin in 2014.
"We are striving to make the fan experience at Ravens' home games and other stadium events the best it can be," Ravens team president Dick Cass stated. "This is something that the NFL emphasizes with all teams and has been a top priority for the Ravens since opening the stadium 15 years ago."
"There is wear and tear that comes with every season, and these improvements will certainly benefit our fans and our business," Ravens vice president of stadium operations Roy Sommerhof said. "Our hope is to complete these projects over the next two years."
Two high-definition video boards, measuring 8 feet high and 30 feet wide, will be installed at the concourse entrances of gates A and D. (Approximately 60 percent of fans enter gate A for all stadium events.) These new high-definition boards, which have split-screen capabilities, will display a variety of content, ranging from in-game action, highlights, stats, welcome messaging and entertainment video.
Another dramatic improvement will be the addition of four new LED boards – one to be placed on each side of the two giant RavensVision HD video boards in the stadium's inner bowl. Additionally, new LED ribbon boards will be installed to connect fully around the entire middle seating bowl.
"With these boards, we will focus on football features that enrich the game-day experience," Ravens vice president of broadcasting Larry Rosen stated. "Transitioning some of our static signage to LED technology allows us to expand content and provide the entertainment and football information – including scores and fantasy-team statistics – that our fans crave."
With the first year of improvements, all 16 lower concourse concession stands will be upgraded. These enhancements aim not only to improve the speed of service, but also the freshness and quality of food, much of which will be prepared directly in front of fans. Additional concession stand improvements include digital menu boards and full upgrades to all condiment counters.
"We're continually working with the Ravens to create an outstanding game-day experience for fans at M&T Bank Stadium," said Joe Arena, general manager, ARAMARK at M&T Bank Stadium. "With these upgrades, we look forward to further enhancing the dining experience with exceptional service and top quality food and beverage options."
Renovations to upper concourse concession stands will be made prior to the 2014 NFL season.
Concourses will be re-designed with a "Ravenized" theme that has been influenced by the brick and steel look of the M&T Bank Stadium exterior and other buildings on the Camden Yards complex. These features include support columns wrapped in brick, purple accent lighting and enhanced directional signage throughout each concourse.
"We're bringing the Camden Yards exterior to our stadium's interior," Sommerhof said.
All four retail stores inside the stadium will be remodeled, slightly increasing the size of each and providing a wider variety of merchandise for fans.
"We will also have more point of sale opportunities in each store," Sommerhof added. "These upgrades will improve connectivity and speed up service for fans who purchase merchandise with credit cards or debit cards."
Artwork and Suite Enhancements
Local artwork featuring Baltimore and the Ravens will be added throughout the stadium's concourses and interior locations. Beginning in 2014, stadium suites also will undergo upgrades.
Specialty areas, such as the lower concourse's Bacardi Bar and Talon Pub, will experience renovations and design upgrades to be completed before the 2013 season begins.