Are you ready for Ravens to open 2013 on road without Kickoff game in Baltimore?

March 18, 2013 | Nestor Aparicio

PHOENIX — So, the Baltimore Orioles hold all the cards. And that’s always a dangerous thing. And that’s the way Peter Angelos loves it.

If you are a lover or fan of the Baltimore Ravens and are awaiting the big announcement from here at the NFL Owners Meetings at the beautiful Biltmore in Arizona about the NFL Kickoff extravaganza at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 5th you’ll be waiting a little longer.

There’s been an impasse. The Orioles have a game scheduled against the Chicago White Sox on that night of the traditional NFL opener and it appears that moving that baseball game back by seven hours is more difficult that it appears.

Of course, it’s on the desk of Peter Angelos now and has been passed onto the desk of Bud Selig and well…there’s really no reason for MLB to do anything or move anything on behalf of Baltimore’s truly loved NFL team.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been on the phone with Bud Selig for the past week and there’s still nothing even remotely promising on the horizon and it’s pretty evident that the Ravens are concerned and the word is now on the street.

Moving the game to Thursday afternoon would take the approval of MLB, the Orioles, the White Sox and the MLB Players Association.

And here’s the real story – all parties have known about this issue for six weeks and nothing substantial has been accomplished.

A source with the Baltimore Ravens told me that the Ravens and NFL would be willing to pay the Orioles to move the game.

“If there’s a financial loss for them, sure we’d be willing to compensate them. It’s only fair.”

Moving the Ravens kickoff game to Wednesday, Sept. 4th was an option but the team and the NFL will not play on Rosh Hashana. Moving the game to Friday night wouldn’t help because the Orioles are home that night and the NFL has a long-standing “no play on Friday” rule to stimulate interest in high school and college football.

If the Ravens were to not host the game there’s a line of reasoning that they’d still play the Thursday night opener but it would be on the road, potentially in a division rival (Pittsburgh is the hottest rumor with Denver not far behind.) There would be a television issue with CBS losing a key game like that to the NFL kickoff game.

The Ravens consider playing the Thursday night game a huge competitive advantage because of the 10 days off after the game. They almost consider it a second bye week after a long training camp. They will almost certainly play a game on the night of Sept. 5th.

There’s also a rumor of a concert or event in Baltimore in conjuction with a potential road game but all of these are in limbo because the NFL still wants the Ravens to play at home on Sept. 5.

Stay tuned.

The Ravens are hoping for the generosity of Peter Angelos to kick in and a reasonable settlement to have the game in Baltimore.

We’ll see how that works out for them…

I can report with full confidence that the Ravens are not optimistic.

4 Comments For This Post

  1. matt Says:

    give the o’s a real financial loss. play the football game, watch camden yards completely empty

  2. Domenic Says:

    Matt, the Orioles have the contractual rights to the site that night since their schedule is already out. What do you do for all of the parking lots that are used jointly by both teams? What the NFL is expecting is that the Orioles will accomodate them “just because.” I understand that, however I see it as incredibly arrogant. In other words, it’s no coincidence that the NFL decided to say that they wouldn’t play Wednesday due to Rosh Hashana and that there’s the possibility that Baltimore could lose the season opener. They’re trying to paint the Orioles into a corner to either bully them into relenting or make them out to be the bad guy.

    I would submit that it’s easy enough for people to say that they could play an afternoon game. But BOTH the ChiSox and the O’s are playing night games in other cities on Wednesday. So if both of those games end on time, they’d be arriving in Baltimore well after midnight. (And that doesn’t even address a rain delay or extra-inning game.) So to ask them to play a night game, travel, and then play at 1 PM or noon is asking a lot. Furthermore, the Orioles might well be in a pennant race at that point, and the day game after a night game (plus travel) might make them sit someone such as a Matt Wieters when he otherwise would have played. The other idea is that the O’s host a doubleheader on Friday or Saturday to make up for the lost game; the odds are stacked well against sweeping a doubleheader. So the O’s could in theory be punting a game if they agreed to that.

    Ultimately I do support the Ravens having the season opener, because they deserve it. However contractually they may not be able to do it…on that night. The thought that the NFL doesn’t play on religious holidays doesn’t carry much water with me; they’ve played on Christmas in the past. That’s simply a ploy to twist the Orioles’ arms a bit. Best case scenario is that the NFL relents it’s position and allows the game to be on Wednesday night. Furthermore if I were the Orioles, after the NFL tried to paint them as bad guys I wouldn’t really be inclined to negotiate.

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    Come on Pete think back to your Baltimore roots and your dads bar where you washed dishes and cleaned the bathrooms.Coexsist and take that MASN money and get us another bat by the trade deadline.

  4. Ken Says:

    Seems to me that the least of all evils would be to move the NFL game to Saturday night with an O’s day game on Saturday. The idea is not without its flaws and pains…but this seems to me to be the least collective painful option and most importantly retains the maximum amount of revenue. I fear though that a Thursday road game will win out.

    Of course, watch it then rain on Thursday and the O’s game gets cancelled anyway…

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