It's the biggest Ravens fan migration of the season.
Most groups will travel to the RCA Dome by bus, starting their trek early Sunday morning and arriving four hours before the 8 p.m. kickoff. But fans said the nine-hour trip is a small sacrifice to send their ultimate message.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Drew Clousby, a member of the Ravens Roost. "What we are going to say by our trip is that we came from Baltimore, and we didn't arrive on Mayflower trucks. And the Ravens will prevail."
Besides the Ravens Roost, other large groups include Major League Vacations, the official Ravens travel agency; Harris Promotions; and others formed by local sports talk show personalities Nestor Aparicio and Stan White.
The average package, which includes round-trip bus fare, a one-night hotel stay and game tickets, runs in the $200 price range. Several groups reached their expected fan quota two months ago.
"Most just want to go up and boo [Bob] Irsay," said Jay Harris, whose group is taking 132 people on three sold-out buses. "We just want to let people know up there that Baltimore has a team again."
And the fans should be pumped once they arrive. Throughout the trip, some buses will show old Colts and Orioles films.
Most groups have seats in the upper deck of the RCA Dome. They shouldn't be hard to spot on television, because everyone plans to wear the purple and black of the Ravens.
"There is so much enthusiasm," Clousby said. "Every person going is a hard-core fan. And everyone has all the gear -- the hats, T-shirts and sweat shirts."
However, many of the fans traveling rooted for the Colts most of their lives and said it will be awkward seeing them in person again.
"It's going to be strange at first," Clousby said. "But I'm looking forward to it. They stole our team and now I want to show that I care as a fan."
"I never thought I would be going to a Colts game again," said Larry Wagner, another member of the Ravens Roost. "I can't really feel anything against Indianapolis, though, because we stole our team, too."
The only other concern is the other birds in town -- the Orioles, who are scheduled to play the New York Yankees at 4 p.m. Sunday.
But Aparicio is trying to use the Orioles game as a tailgate party of sorts. He wants traveling Ravens fans to meet at the Radisson Hotel in Indianapolis to watch the Orioles game and then walk together two blocks to the RCA Dome.
"It's going to be one of the greatest sports weekends for this town," Aparicio said. "Most people made plans [for the Ravens] three months ago, but it's going to be fun because the games don't overlap. But this is an opportunity to see the Ravens play the Colts for the first time. To go and be a part of that is going to be special."
Next for Ravens
Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
When: Sunday, 8 p.m.
Site: RCA Dome, Indianapolis
TV/Radio: Ch. 54, TNT/WJFK (1300 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM)
Line: Colts by 8 1/2
Pub Date: 10/11/96