Ravens' opener sight to behold Game will be on TV after local businesses buy remaining tickets

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The sellout scare is over.

The Ravens' regular-season opener against Jacksonville tomorrow at Memorial Stadium will be seen on local television, after all.

Three local companies and WBAL-TV agreed yesterday to buy the remaining 2,500 tickets that had to be sold to ensure the game would not be blacked out in Baltimore.

The sellout rescue was led by the Len Stoler Automotive Group, with the help of JP Foodservice, Bond Distributing/Miller Lite and WBAL.

"A full house can help a team, and like [Ravens coach] Ted Marchibroda said a few days ago, this is going to be a heck of a game," Ravens owner Art Modell said. "This is good news for Baltimore football fans."

The news is equally good for the local charities and community groups that will benefit from the shopping spree. Tickets also will be distributed to union workers in the Baltimore area, including those building the Ravens' new stadium at Camden Yards that is scheduled to open next year.

Members of Teamsters Local 355 also will receive tickets.

"This is a special way to salute and celebrate with some of the area's best workers on this Labor Day weekend," Ravens executive vice president David Modell said. "The Teamsters are United Parcel workers who have had an even rougher August than we did."

Said Mark Kaiser, senior vice president at JP Foodservice: "As a large business in the Baltimore metropolitan area, we wanted to do our part. Businesses should support local franchises. A lot of people worked many hours over many months to make sure we got a team.

"I thought about all of the kids in the area who have adopted the Ravens as their team, but who couldn't make it to the game and would not get to watch it on television. This is a win-win."

There also should be additional tickets available because of returns from the Jaguars and the NFL.

The Ravens have sold out four home games, with the others being Pittsburgh (Oct. 5), Miami (Oct. 19) and Philadelphia (Nov. 16).

At this time a year ago, the Ravens had sold out two games.

Pub Date: 8/30/97

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