In an effort to heighten the party atmosphere they envision surrounding game days at their new Camden Yards stadium, the Ravens plan to bring a hint of a carnival to the parking lot.
The idea is to provide a slew of pre-game food and fun and games, ranging from magicians to street vendors to face painters to live music.
The place for the festivities will be known as the pedestrian spine -- a walkway that is an extension of Eutaw Street, which fans will use to make their way past Oriole Park to the football stadium.
The Ravens plan to give thousands of ticket holders more fun for their walk. Along the walkway will be such setups as football toss games, interactive video games, community booths, a Velcro wall for those inclined to make a jump for it and a stage to accommodate local bands.
In all, one-third of a mile of diversions should give fans plenty to digest before they watch the opening kickoff.
"We want to capture a festive, carnival, midway type of atmosphere, and we want to extend the stadium experience," said David Cope, Ravens vice president of marketing and sales.
"The pedestrian spine will run from Lee Street to Hamburg Street, which will be the main thoroughfare for most of our fans parking north of the stadium. The majority of our fans will be walking from their cars to the game from that direction. Unlike our tailgating areas, this will be totally free and open to the public."
The walkway will be ready certainly by the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 6, although Cope said the chances are good that it will available in some form at the preseason opener on Aug. 8.
Pub Date: 6/25/98