On an afternoon when Ravens owner Art Modell announced that PSINet Stadium would temporarily go by a new name, he also welcomed another professional team into its confines.
Citing mutual benefits and commitment to professional lacrosse, the Ravens and Major League Lacrosse's Baltimore Bayhawks agreed yesterday to a partnership that will make the downtown stadium the Bayhawks' home, starting this summer.
The Ravens regained naming and marketing rights from bankrupt PSINet Inc. in an agreement that needs federal court approval.
"We will be getting a new name, hopefully soon," the elder Modell said at a news conference yesterday. "In the meantime, it will be known as Ravens Stadium."
Or as his son David, the Ravens' president, put it later, Ravens-slash-Bayhawks Stadium.
"We are very excited about this opportunity," said David Modell. "I think we are constantly looking to have as many events here as we can. It is a great meeting place for our community."
The Ravens will help market and promote the Bayhawks and the MLL and give them access to football season-ticket holders and suite- and club-level seating customers.
Bayhawks co-owner Dave Pivec said ticket prices will be the same as last season at Johns Hopkins University's Homewood Field. The team averaged more than 4,000 fans a game last season, like the MLL's other five teams, less than the hoped-for average of 5,000.
"We need activity in this stadium. You just can't have 10 [football] games a year and let it go at that," said Art Modell, who recalled an introduction to lacrosse that he got from former Cleveland Browns great Jim Brown, also a lacrosse star at Syracuse University.
PSINet Stadium will have seven Bayhawks games this summer, starting June 6. The stadium also will hold the 2003 and 2004 NCAA final fours.