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Fan who died at Ravens-Titans playoff game stumbled on M&T Bank Stadium steps

Ravens fan Michael Kahler died after stumbling on the steps leading to his seat at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday night, Ravens spokesman Chad Steele said in an email.
Ravens fan Michael Kahler died after stumbling on the steps leading to his seat at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday night, Ravens spokesman Chad Steele said in an email. (Ulysses Muoz / Baltimore Sun)

Ravens officials shared more details Monday about an incident in which a man died after falling in the upper deck of M&T Bank Stadium during the Ravens-Tennessee Titans playoff game Saturday night.

Ravens fan Michael Kahler stumbled on the steps leading to his seat, Ravens spokesman Chad Steele said in an email.

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Ravens officials had previously reported the fan had collapsed while walking on the steps of the upper deck. Medical personnel arrived but were unable to resuscitate Kahler. Steele would not answer further questions about the incident or the injuries Kahler suffered.

Kahler, 30, an avid Ravens fan and a manager at Giant Foods, had become a certified personal trainer last year and was passionate about health and fitness, according to an online obituary.

“Above everything else Michael loved his family,” the obituary said. “He will be deeply missed by many.”

Members of Kahler’s family declined to comment Monday.

“Our prayers and sympathies go out to Michael Kahler’s family and friends," Steele said in the email.

Security footage reportedly showed that S.A.F.E. Management, the company that provides the stadium’s ushers and security, reported the incident less than two minutes after the stumble, Steele said. A representative of S.A.F.E. Management directed questions Monday about the incident to Ravens officials.

Within three minutes from the stumble, two EMTs arrived at the scene and began assessment and treatment, Steele said. Within eight minutes, an emergency doctor arrived. And within 14 minutes, Kahler received additional emergency treatment in a nearby first aid room, Steele said.

About 15 minutes later, Kahler was taken in an ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma, Steele said.

The Maryland Stadium Authority, which owns M&T Bank Stadium and leases it to the Ravens, deferred comment to team officials.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Sunday that the incident was reported as an accidental fall so police did not have any information about it.

A study conducted by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers in 2018 found there had been 62 fatal spectator injuries at sporting events across the globe from 2000 through 2018. More than half the deaths, 38, came from incidents at vehicle racing events while none were documented at football games.

The research team also called for a more comprehensive database outlining spectator injuries at sporting events, writing that Major League Baseball and National Hockey League installed netting to protect spectators from foul balls and flying pucks.

“We need to categorize these injuries and use that data to find tangible ways to protect fans without significant compromise to the viewing experience. Spectator injuries, be they life-ending or life-changing, have no place in sport,” wrote Amit Momaya, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon involved with the study.

A viewing for Kahler will be held Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Ambrose Funeral Home, 1328 Sulphur Spring Road in Halethorpe, according to the funeral home. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday. The burial will be private.

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Baltimore Sun reporters Colin Campbell and Phil Davis contributed to this article.

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