Schedule-gate 2013: We’re not all going to get everything we want

March 20, 2013 | Glenn Clark

That agreement took place when the sides had a more direct partnership however, as the Orioles collected money from the Ravens to air content on MASN. It was much easier to make things work when the parties had an economic agreement.

The Orioles have been fairly amenable at other times as well, including a willingness to shift the start time of a game just a season ago in order to accommodate the Baltimore Grand Prix.

Of course, that was once again a scenario where the Orioles were receiving money from the Grand Prix in order to use the baseball stadium as part of the race course. It is always easier to be coerced when you stand to gain financially from the entire process.

The Orioles weren’t so willing to be amenable just a year ago, and were in fact instead prepared to flex their own muscle towards the Baltimore Running Festival. My same source with knowledge of the lease agreement between the O’s and the Maryland Stadium Authority reminded me that the Birds were fully prepared to force the Running Festival (including the Baltimore Marathon and Half Marathon) to be cancelled should the Orioles have won the AL East and hosted Games 3, 4 and 5 of the ALDS. The Marathon was only saved when the Orioles were unable to overtake the New York Yankees in the final days of the regular season.

The Orioles would not have thought twice about about flexing their own muscle in such a situation (and unless you’re connected to the Running Festival you likely would not have complained), but for some reason Orioles fans have gone out of their way to paint the NFL as “evil” and “trying to flex their muscle in this situation.”

So I ask again-why is it that we simply allow the Orioles to “call shotgun” first and then sit in the front seat of the car whenever they want?

These two entities-the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens-are contractually obligated to a partnership that centers around sharing state-owned property.

The Maryland Stadium Authority (an entity created by the State of Maryland) is the owner and operator of the Camden Yards Sports Complex, including both stadiums. Both M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards are part of the complex, as is the parking area immediately surrounding both stadiums. The MSA gave the Orioles preferential treatment in the lease agreement because the Orioles were the original tenant of the facility (and also in part because the Orioles offer more overall dates to the MSA during the course of a calendar year).

(Continued on Page 5…)

5 Comments For This Post

  1. PghSteve Says:

    Another thing – the NFL has known since January 20th that there was a 50% chance the Ravens could be hosting the opening game on September 5th. Did they wait almost 2 months to try to work this out? Seems to me that work on finding a compromise should have been started on the Monday morning of January 21st, and maybe it was. Do you know when the NFL started to work out a deal?

    (Edit from Glenn: It was roughly around then, yes. But the MLB schedule was already set even at that point.)

  2. Jason Manelli Says:

    The Ravens should just play the opener away on Thursday. It would be a fitting tribute to a team that did their best work ‘away’ in their playoff run. Hell, play the game in Denver if you want, and remind those pansies how Ravens Nation rolls. Sh*t happens. I’m a season ticket holder for the Ravens and have been since 1996 – the stadium will be rocking for the home opener and I’ll be there. Like you wrote Glenn, we’re not all going to get what we want and sh*t does happen. Whats more disturbing then us not opening at home, is that the Ravens are peeing on the O’s even though they are the ones asking for a big and difficult favor.

    (Edit from Glenn: In agreement with everything except the notion the Ravens are “peeing” on the Orioles. They’re negotiating…with a lot of cash. The Orioles would stand to benefit financially if they chose to help, but if they believe playing the game Thursday is better for their team, they don’t have to help either. There’s public perception that’s “peeing” on the Orioles…I’m trying to separate those things.)

  3. kevinb Says:

    glenn,i appreciate everything you and drew have to say.the precedent has already been set by the orioles about moving things around.if the ravens have to go on the road and we miss our big reward for winning the superbowl all the good will the orioles cultivated from last years success will be soiled. dont think we all havent forgotten about 15 years of pure i think the nfl is too big for its britches?absolutely.but as mel brooks said “its good to be the king”.the orioles have had 6 weeks to fix this.most of us think they are holding out for some sort of settlement. thats fine.we all know who we are dealing with in mr angelos.if the stadium authority needs to step in so be it.this is a football town and no matter whos fault it is the orioles and specifically mr angelos are gonna be pilloried.-keep up the good work.

  4. Justin Says:

    Glenn, simple solution to avoid this mishap in my opinion. If there are two professional teams that share a stadium/parking/etc, then make that an open date for the baseball team every year a home series falls on that date. There is enough shuffling done to the baseball schdules that this could have been avoided. However, the issue now is that no matter what, unless the Orioles give up a competetive edge and move the game to daytime, in which the white sox agree and the ravens can keep the home opener, the fans and the city of Baltimore are going to lose out on what could have been a great experience and showcase of the city. Orioles are not at fault here, MLB and the NFL, are at fault for failing to forsee the possibility of this occurance. There cant be that many citys that share facilites that this fix would affect. great article and kudos on the research.

  5. matt Says:

    drews on one side. nestor on the other. and you said it on page 1, youre in the middle.

    (Edit from Glenn: It’s not quite as much “in the middle” as it is that I want the Maryland Stadium Authority to get involved to make sure what’s done here is what’s best for the taxpayers of the state of Maryland considering the two buildings are publicly funded.)

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