From the gates to the field, Ravens fans will notice a slew of changes at M&T Bank Stadium this fall as part of a three-year, approximately $120 million investment in bettering the fan experience.
Digital ticketing system: Keep your smartphone charged. The Ravens ushered in digital ticketing this year, moving away from the decades-old method of paper tickets. Fans are asked to download the Ravens mobile app and will be able to present their mobile tickets to gate staff for entry into the stadium. Permanent seat license owners were issued a card with all season tickets aboard, and will be asked to tap their card upon entry.
The move is intended to streamline wait times into M&T Bank Stadium and prevent fraudsters from selling fake tickets to unsuspecting victims online. The changes are an NFL-wide mandate and will be implemented across all 32 stadiums by 2019.
In the concessions: The Ravens introduced "Friendly Flock Fare," a menu of reduced prices on 21 of the most popular items and one new potential fan favorite, $5 beer.
"I think our fans will welcome a $5 beer," Ravens president Dick Cass said.
Price reductions include:
- Stadium hot dogs, from $5 to $3; Grilled hot dogs, from $6.50 to $5.
- French fries, from $6 to $3.
- Stadium burgers, from $8.50 to $6.
- Pizza, from $8.50 to $6.
- Nachos, from $7.75 to $5.
- Peanuts, from $5 to 3.
- An entree of chicken tenders and fries, from $11 to $7.
- Soft pretzels, from $4.25 to $2.
- Bavarian pretzels and regular popcorn, both from $5.25 to $3.
- Bottomless popcorn, from $8.75 to $6.
- Large fountain soda, from $5.25 to $3.
- Souvenir soda (with one refill), from $8 to $5.
- Bottled water (liter), from $6.50 to $4; Bottled water (20-ounce), from $4.75 to $3.
- Domestic 12-ounce canned beer, new to concessions, is priced at $5.
- Domestic 16-ounce packaged and draft beers, from $8.50 to $7.
- Premium canned and draft beers, from $9.50 to $8.
- Premium spirits, from $10 to $9.
Two new food items — Chesapeake tacos and kielbasa cheesesteak — are also inbound. The tacos, which retail for $12, include crab dip, pulled chicken dusted in Old Bay, corn salsa and cheddar jack cheese inside purple tortillas. The "cheesesteak" consists of sliced kielbasa, peppers, onions, sauerkraut and cheese on a roll.
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The beer comes to you now: Aramark, the Ravens' concessions provider, is bringing "BeerCycles" to M&T Bank Stadium this fall. The three-wheeled cart will station itself at fan hot spots during games in an effort to shrink lines for alcohol and increase convenience.
There, in the corners: Four ultra-high definition 4K video boards have been installed in the "corner notches" of the stadium's upper bowl, measuring 33 feet by 44 feet. Along with displaying in-game stats, fantasy stats and NFL scores, Cass hopes by closing in the bowl walls, the stadium sound will be contained better. The boards will rest atop new corner suites.
Instagram your heart out: In-stadium WiFi will now be able to handle 10 gigabits per second, which is a 500 percent increase from last season.
Increased accessibility: More escalators and elevators are being installed with access to the 500 level, with the first set expected to be available by October.
Renovations: Bar-lounge areas and concession stands on the club level have been upgraded for better design, comfort, audio-visual experience and food. Stadium kitchens have been renovated as well.