London-bound Ravens fans say they will not be deterred by terrorist attack

London-bound Ravens fans say they will not be deterred by terrorist attack
Holding their game tickets, members of Ravens Roost 97 are going to the upcoming Ravens game in England. Left to right: Bob Harrell, Jim McCain, Sharon McCain, Tina Johnson, Ed Johnson. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Thomas Riley Jr. has long imagined that attending the Ravens' Sept. 24 game in London will be akin to hitting a trifecta.

To the devout fan, the trip combines sightseeing in the British capital, a side trip to Paris and a chance to see his favorite team play the Jacksonville Jaguars Sept. 24 at historic Wembley Stadium.


The Baltimorean was among many Ravens fans who said they won't be deterred by the bomb attack Friday on a packed London Underground station. "I'm still planning to go and have a good time," he said.

Another fan, Ed Johnson of Arbutus, said: "I'm not going to let some terrorist dictate my life for me. I'm going to go."

BMORE Around Town, a social events company, said none of the 750 customers it has booked for the trip had canceled.

The homemade bomb explosion at the Parson's Green tube station in West London during the morning rush hour wounded 29 people. None of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening. Britain raised its terrorism threat level to "critical," its highest warning.

Brian Snyder, the owner of BMORE Around Town, sent an email after the attack to those who had booked.

"While we are in no way trying to downplay what has occurred, the sad part of reality is that this has become a way of life not only throughout Europe but throughout the entire world," he wrote.

He told the fans that "their safety on our trip is our No. 1 concern."

Snyder said fans' responses included "They are not ruining my trip" and "The Ravens flock is strong and I know we'll watch out for one another."

The attendees are financially committed to the trip, Snyder said, but if any said they were too worried to travel, "we'd certainly attempt to work with them where we could."

The NFL sought to assure fans Friday.

"We have not changed anything so far, but this doesn't mean if we got information in the future we wouldn't," said Mark Waller, the league's executive vice president of international. "We'll have a series of conference calls over the weekend and Monday."

Waller said an important consideration is "whether the incident is part of anything broader going on. We would not do anything in our decision-making that would put fans, teams or players at risk."

Because the United Kingdom has so many large-scale sporting events and concerts, he said, "there is an awful lot of expertise."

"There is massive existing infrastructure in place," he said. "Massive rugby games, soccer games, concerts."


Wembley holds about 84,000 for NFL games.

The NFL has been playing regular-season games in London since 2007. The game Sept. 24 will be the Ravens' first there.

The league said fans travel to London-based NFL games from around the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Chris Proctor lives in Germany. He has followed the Ravens since the 2012 Super Bowl championship season.

"The subway bombing isn't going to stop me to watch my Ravens over here in Europe," he said. "I've waited long enough, and not anyone or anything is holding me back to be at Wembley next week and screaming my lungs out for our team."