Tag Archive | "stadium"

Tags: , ,

So this kid wrote me a letter…

Posted on 15 April 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

I love these kinds of letters that inspire me to blog. I’m really, really busy running the company right now and so involved in a huge expansion for WNST that I’m a little removed from day-to-day blogging here. You’re MUCH more likely to find me at a business networking event or in social media at Facebook and Twitter than in the actual blogging part of my life. But I’ll start writing more when things slow down and I can focus on my book. But I’m easy to find in the WNST Live Chat almost every night, during every game and will be again tonight during Caps-Habs or Orioles late night from Oakland.

(And rest assured, Free The Birds 3 is on my mind a lot given the Orioles ineptitude this week to suck the life out of baseball one more time in Baltimore…)

So today I got a “good news” baseball-oriented note from a kid on Facebook and I thought I’d just post it to see how many people would respond:

Here goes…

Dear Mr. Aparicio,
My name is Cody Gelvar, and I am a Junior in high school at the Batlimore Polytechnic Institute (Poly for short) I am also on the varsity baseball team. This friday at 3:45 there will be two city schools, playing at Camden Yards. It will be my school, Poly vs. Digital Harbor. I believe it would be incredible if you could say something on one of your shows, or on your website. High school baseball in the city never recieves attention from anybody, and it will be an incredible experience for both the Poly and Digital Harbor teams. Entrance into the stadium is FREE and the stadium opens at 3.
This game is the biggest game of any of our lives, the more poeple (sic) to come to the Yard, the better.

A Loyal Listener,
Cody Gelvar

Is anyone going to the game?

Comments Off on So this kid wrote me a letter…

Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday Night in Dwayne’s World

Posted on 14 January 2010 by Dwayne Showalter

I’m not going to predict either a Colts OR a Ravens victory Saturday night.  But I am going to guarantee that we will all be watching Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLVI (that’s 46) in January 2012.  That’s not to say the Colts will be playing in it (though they certainly could with Peyton Manning) but the city of Indianapolis will actually HOST that game.

In just 24 months, the Super Bowl will be played in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.  How did that happen?  How did the city that welcomed our beloved Colts end up hosting the Super Bowl?  Two words – retractable roof.

As much as Baltimore hit a home run with Oriole Park, it fumbled the construction of M&T Bank Stadium.  I did some poking around and found the cost for what was originally known as Ravens Stadium in 1996 was $220 million.  Reliant Stadium, a retractable roof stadium built in Houston for the Texans in 2000, cost $330 million to build.  Factoring in four years of 3% inflation, it would have likely cost Baltimore $310 million at the time to add a retractable roof to the football stadium.

Ninety million dollars could have led to all kinds of opportunity for Baltimore.  Ninety million for a possible Super Bowl, an NCAA Final Four, winter concerts, or a bowl game – the McCormick Old Bay Bowl anyone?  It might have even pushed us into that higher league of cities that might have attracted the NBA or NHL (shoot, even the AHL).

Now I’m a purist.  I love football outdoors.  And an open air, natural grass stadium is the best football environment there is: compare a game in Green Bay, Cleveland or San Diego to games in Atlanta, St. Louis or Detroit.  Outdoors on grass wins every time.

But once the Ravens put in the artificial surface, the stadium lost half of its identity.  No more grass stains.  No more muddy games.  No clumps of turf coming up in November to be re-sodded in December.  Just shards of tire finding its way into your shoes.

We should have forked over that 90 million for the retractable roof.  And as a football purist, i would have been in favor of a stipulation that the roof be opened, come hell or high water, for all Ravens home games.   Mid-August 88 degrees with 83% humidity?  Open.  Late October, remnants of a hurricane battering Baltimore with 25mph winds and heavy rain?  Open.  Day after a Christmas Week Blizzard?  Open.  (and maybe i wouldn’t have sat in the upper deck with 8″ of snow at my feet if the roof was closed the day before).

But Super Bowl.  Closed!  Final Four?  Closed.  Bowl Game? Closed.  Imagine the economic impact downtown.  We could have had it all for $90 million.

Party on!  Excellent!

Comments Off on Thursday Night in Dwayne’s World

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morning After: Undefeated Ravens now will play role of favorite in AFC

Posted on 21 September 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s hard to write these old-man “analysis” columns for the “morning newspaper” after I’ve been talking and Twittering and Facebooking and basically “analyzing” the game from every perspective imaginable literally every moment of the game.

(If you’re not following us on your mobile device during the game on Sunday, you’re missing the best “team” analysis of the games as the situations happen. God, I love the internet in 2009!)

But before I spend all day Monday flying back from San Diego and inevitably talking to more Ravens fans about the game on the airplane, I suppose I must sum it all by saying this: Sunday’s win has solidified Baltimore’s role as a leader of the AFC pack for a Super Bowl championship this year.

I haven’t looked, but I guarantee you that the Ravens will be No. 1 on many “power ranking” or “Fine Fifteens” all across the internet today and all week.

Sure, the Ravens 31-26 win at Qualcomm Stadium exposed some of the deficiencies of the team in the secondary, but it also showed the resiliency of the unit and their ability to make a play 3,000 miles from home with the game on the line and the home crowd on their edge of their seats anticipating a hocus-pocus victory.

Ray Lewis, with a play he even called the greatest of his career, made sure that the Ravens were not making the long flight home as losers.

It wasn’t a pretty effort on Sunday in San Diego, but beating division leaders on the road never is scored on beauty. It’s scored on guts, and the Ravens have that in abundance as their play the past two weeks has illustrated. The Ravens of 2009 have a lot of fourth quarter fight in them and they’ll need in throughout the long season.

It’s still quite early in the season but the Ravens have fended off two attacks and you’d like to think that with Cleveland en route to M&T Bank Stadium this weekend, the team should be 3-0 heading to New England for another showdown with an AFC favorite on the road where Lewis, Flacco and company will be tested under the glare of the national spotlight.

It’s impossible to discuss Sunday’s game in San Diego without pointing how bad the secondary looked in the victory. Prior to his concussion, Fabian Washington struggled mightily and Dominique Foxworth might’ve looked even worse. The big play was the bane of John Harbaugh’s existence yesterday as Philip Rivers threw for 436 yards with a handful of big plays and breakdowns that I don’t need to itemize here. The first touchdown when Darren Sproles was running toward Arizona was such a colossal meltdown that I couldn’t even figure out who to blame!

“We need to get better,” was Harbaugh’s postgame message and it will certainly be heard in the meeting room of Greg Mattison all week in preparation for the Browns.

You can’t give up that kind of yardage in big chunks and continue to win in the NFL.

But for now, we’ll consider yesterday’s many faux paus and defensive breakdowns a blip on the radar and hope that the pass rush will also be more effective vs. some of the lesser lights of the league. Brady Quinn should not be throwing the ball around like a sandlot game this week. At least we hope…

And despite Flacco’s late interception across the middle of the field deep into enemy territory yesterday, it hasn’t taken me long to become almost spoiled by his confidence, leadership and ability to be very consistent in the passing attack.

I’m confident that Flacco will continue to emerge as the reason the Ravens win games, not the guy who throws interceptions late on the road to open the door for the home team.

The running game will continue to be a weapon as Willis McGahee emerged yesterday as a factor and sometimes it seems like we just forget he’s even on the team. His 79 hard-earned yards yesterday were a huge factor in the win but Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain will be heard from plenty over the next 14 weeks.

It wasn’t a pretty victory – the stat sheet here will bear that out – but it was a major morale booster in a lot of ways and has certainly awakened the fans, the organization and the players to just where Ray Lewis stands in 2009 – 15 years into a Hall of Fame career.

With the game on the line, with enemy fans foaming at the mouth for a victory and with people always questioning how much tread is left on No. 52’s tires, he manages a way to shut us all up – again!

I walked from one end of the tiny, cramped locker room at Jack Murphy Stadium yesterday to the other and I couldn’t find a veteran player who said he’d ever seen a bigger play at more crucial moment of a football game than Lewis’ gap-shooting assault on Darren Sproles on fourth down with the game on the line.

Here’s what Trevor Pryce thought:

Sure, the secondary needs work. Sure, it’s only Week 2 and talk of being undefeated is premature.

But the Ravens are in first place and they’ve claimed a road victory over a team that is almost certainly headed for a division title in the AFC West.

The Ravens are Super Bowl contenders. The national media will throw the spotlight on the local boys this week.

Get ready for a wild ride this season.

Comments Off on Morning After: Undefeated Ravens now will play role of favorite in AFC

Tags: , , , ,

What a Difference a Year Makes

Posted on 11 September 2009 by Tom Federline

Greetings fellow sports fans. Welcome to my first blog! I had the daunting decesion of whether to go “heavy” or “light” on choice of topic. Experience got the best of me and I will proceed using the KISS principle and some common sense. Let’s go with the Ravens and Kickoff Weekend.

We are all ready for some football! I’m just not digging this Thursday Night PrimeTime, media, money driven, commercialfest. On top of that, it was a little rough watching the celebration in Pittsburgh. There were some cool aerial shots though. It was a good game ….just with the wrong result. The Steelers got beat, but won the game. This Opening Night Spectacle isn’t going anywhere, so I guess all we can hope for, is that they are filming from Federal Hill and Rash Field next year. Opening kickoff for football is Sunday afternoon. It’s tradition.

Now – back to “the difference”. Out from 2008 – Matt Stover, Kyle Booller, Chris McAlister, Jason Brown, Bart Scott (just to name a few). In for 2009 – Steve Hauschka, Matt Birk, Dominique Foxworth, Paul Kruger and some guy named Oher. In 2008 – we were just being introduced to an unproven kid from UD and as fate would have it, be the starting QB the first week of the season .We wore t-shirts that read, “Joe stay Cool – We got your back”. We supported a rookie head coach, not kowing a thing about him. We were hoping for a .500 season. Now in 2009 – in thier second year, that QB and head coach have our hopes high and set the stage for a good run. We’re not hoping for .500, we are checking out airfare rates to Miami in February. What a difference a year makes!

I’m pumped! In fact………… it’s getting awful “Hot in Herre”- (Nelly). You go Ray-Ray. There is some serious energy in that stadium during team introductions and kickoff. That’s the real Opening Kickoff and bottom line ………..it’s just darn cool. Predictions (?) Come on hit me up, they’re always fun. Mine – Healthy Joe Cool and Ray-Ray, 13-3 and book the airfare. Hurt Joe Cool and Ray-Ray, 8-8. Can’t lose the leaders. Although, if the worst happens,  Mr. Reed sure doesn’t have a problem getting his point across, now does he?

 “9/11 – Never Forget” and of course GO RAVENS!


Comments Off on What a Difference a Year Makes

Yankee Stadium trip

Tags: , , , , ,

Yankee Stadium trip: I now know what a $9 beer tastes like

Posted on 20 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The Miller Lite was ice cold. Our Gunther charter got us to The Bronx plenty early yesterday. And the “new” Yankee Stadium was big, bold and pricey as promised. We were having a blast last night amidst a sea of pinstripers right up until the time Chris Ray came into the game.

And, of course, it’s hard to win when you only get three hits over nine innings.

Yankee Stadium trip

Orioles starting pitcher Brad Bergesen kept the Birds in the game for six innings, pitching some inspired baseball after allowing ARod a first-inning home run. But Ray’s seventh inning implosion and the dominance of C.C. Sabathia, who allowed just three hits in seven innings, led to a blowout 9-1 Yankees win in Gotham City.

The video from the trip is coming to wnsTV and the many observations about the stadium will be discussed on “Limited Access” at 2 p.m. today. All in all, a beautiful, antiseptic environment for baseball in New York is kinda weird but the fans there certainly seem galvanized to support the club and spend the money to come to the new palace.

Did I mention that a beer cost me $9?

There was palpable energy in the seats all evening and I saw more kids at the game than I remember seeing at the old Yankee Stadium. Their new crib reminds me more of the current Comiskey Park (U.S. Cellular Field, or whatever they’re calling it this year) in Chicago than any other park.

WNST will be doing another bus trip back to The Bronx on Wednesday, July 22 for an afternoon game between the Yankees and Orioles. We’ll put this trip on sale this weekend here on the site.

We’re also doing a combo baseball/football trip called “Fenway and Football” to Boston the weekend of Oct. 3-4. It will include Fenway Park on Saturday night (Red Sox-Indians) and the Ravens game in Foxboro with the New England Patriots on Sunday.

More details at 2 p.m. on my show.

Comments Off on Yankee Stadium trip: I now know what a $9 beer tastes like

Tags: , , , , ,

State launches new marketing initiative

Posted on 08 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

In a long-overdue announcement, the State of Maryland held a press conference this morning to announce that they’re getting serious about luring major events to the region with the formation of a joint coalition between the Governor, the Stadium Authority and a marketing group formed specifically to generate sports-related tourism and revenue here.

I attended the press conference and will discuss it on “Limited Access” at 2 p.m. today. The basic premise was a website launch and an organized outreach that will lure events — both recreational and professional — to venues throughout the state.

A good idea, I think. We’ll see what the benefits are beyond the obvious: AC Milan and Chelsea at M&T Bank Stadium on July 24. (By the way, they’ve sold 52,000 seats so far for the event!)

Here’s the press release:


Cal Ripken Jr., State officials unveil comprehensive sports marketing database

Baltimore, Maryland (May 8, 2009) – Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development Secretary Christian S. Johansson and Maryland Stadium Authority Chairman John Morton, III were joined by Cal Ripken, Jr. and more than 100 sports industry executives at Oriole Park at Camden Yards today to officially launch www.marylandsports.us. This electronic marketing platform features an online sports facility directory, special event calendar and cooperative marketing network designed to increase the number of sporting events and travelers in Maryland.

“Sports travel is a $182 billion industry nationally,” said Governor O’Malley. “With world class facilities and abundant natural resources, Maryland is moving forward to capitalize on our incredible assets to attract more high quality sports events and host the millions of athletes and spectators who participate.“

Featuring more than 600 recreation and sporting venues – including major league stadiums, university arenas, state parks and both government and privately operated facilities — the online directory is accessible via the web at www.marylandsports.us and is the first of many resources planned for events rights-holders and promoters interested in Maryland. An Events Calendar and other links will also provide information on assets and activities in Maryland to the thousands of enthusiasts who comprise the billion-dollar sports travel industry.

“DBED’s strong partnership with the Stadium Authority is already paying dividends for the State’s economy by attracting world class sporting competitions to Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Christian S. Johansson. “We have helped secure the NCAA lacrosse championships in 2010-2011 and the first ever exhibition soccer match between international powerhouses Chelsea and Milan on June 24, 2009.”

“Bidding for lucrative competitions is a complex, competitive process, involving numerous state and local partners,” said MSA Chairman John Morton, III. “This new initiative further proves that when Maryland bids on an event – we’re in the game to win.”

Proposals for additional events in other parts of the state are in progress, as are plans to develop a signature “Maryland” competition that will draw participants, spectators, and media attention to the state and its many attractions.

“ The Governor and other visionaries who recognized the opportunities the sports event and travel industry present deserve tremendous credit,” said Terrance Hasseltine, Director of the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing. “We have an opportunity to capitalize on our sports assets, like our central location and excellent facilities, and tap into this growing segment of the economy. The partnership between the Stadium Authority and Department of Business and Economic Development puts Maryland in a stronger position to do so.”

Comments Off on State launches new marketing initiative

Tags: , , , , ,

Miami Strategy

Posted on 04 January 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Watching the Colts and the Falcons get eliminated last night brings to focus the reality of today’s “do or die” game here in Miami against the Dolphins. It also will revisit the overtime argument about possession and coin flips and the fairness of the current NFL doctrine. Should the Colts have at least gotten ball last night?

My thought is “sure”…except when it’s the Colts. Good riddance to them! The Ravens’ path to the Super Bowl got a lot easier last night when San Diego won the coin flip and went down the field and euthanized the Colts’ season. So long, Peyton! See ya in those commercials during the rest of the playoffs!

It’s a beautiful morning here in Miami — it’s expected to reach 80 degrees by game time. Our party at Alabama Joe’s last night was outstanding as the bar was packed with purple with representatives from all over the state of Maryland as well as several “expatrioted” Baltimoreans living down here in the land of depressed housing and sunshine.

We’ll be blogging he

Comments (0)


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Strange, nostalgic day to be in Dallas

Posted on 20 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s a crazy day to be in Dallas. They’re shutting their stadium tonight amidst a potential season-wrecker if Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and the Ravens come in a steal a victory. It’s the Ravens’ first-ever trip into Dallas, the final city they’ve never played in over the 13-year history of the franchise (not counting the Minnesota preseason game two years ago). And the civic pressure is on here in “Big D.” You can almost feel the anticipation for this game if you just drive around town and hear people talking.

If the 2008 Dallas Cowboys lose their final game in Texas Stadium to get essentially bumped from a playoff spot, they’ll be all-time chumps. Especially on the backend of Tony Romo’s January meltdowns and T.O.’s loudmouthed nonsense. This game is significant here — the lead story on every TV channel and the headline of every newspaper.

A big giant “love in” is scheduled for the pre-game and the in-game. The pageantry they’re putting on – and you do know that EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas – will rival what we did for the Orioles in Baltimore on 33rd Street back in 1991. If you really want to vomit and hate the Cowboys more than you already do, just flip NFL Network on today. The pre-game show starts at 5 p.m. and that goof Rich Eisen has already promised to get “every breathing Cowboy legend possible” onto the show. Just hearing Deion Sanders wax on (and off) with every Dallas legend from Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett to Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith is enough to make you hit the “mute” button.

I’ve hated the Cowboys since Clint Longley…

But here’s the reality: the WHOLE THING is set up for the Ravens to get their asses kicked on national “house TV” of the NFL with the star at the 50-yard line and a team and a stadium that helped build the foundational greatness of the shield is going down. (A little different than imploding the Hoosier Dome, as was done earlier to day in Indianapolis…)

Not that the game doesn’t have enough interesting subplots already – with both teams fighting for their January lives and a crucial win tonight – but the stadium closing combined with the constant drama of Terrell Owens and the matchup issues (still no word on whether Fabian Washington will suit up…join the FREE text service and we’ll keep you in the loop) on both sides of the ball, this figures to be a great and memorable night either way.

The Ravens need this game. The city kinda needs this game. I don’t want to wake up on Christmas Day on the outside looking in after all of the fun this team has given us this year. I want a playoff game in New England or New York or Miami two weeks from now. I don’t want the season to end. Tonight could be kinda ugly, as the Ravens enter the game as 4 ½ point underdogs. As big of a home game as the Pittsburgh fiasco was the other night, this might as big of a December road game as the Ravens have played in their history.

It’s always fun when the Ravens play in big games. You can feel the weight of this one here in Dallas for sure.

The weather report shows that the temperature will be dropping like a rock during the game. It was 78 degrees here yesterday when we landed. We walked in short sleeves after dark last night amidst the holiday lights. This morning it’s 60 degrees, damp and kinda chilly. It’s supposed to be 55 at 6 p.m. and 45 at 9 p.m. and 32 by midnight. Tomorrow, it’ll be 35 degrees when we leave Dallas.

I’ll continue to check in from Dallas.

We found a lady bug on the window sill and thought it might be good luck…Ladybug

Comments (0)

Tags: , , ,

If you’re heading to Dallas this weekend…

Posted on 18 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Getting lots of Ravens emails this week from folks heading to “The Big D” for this weekend’s game. My pal Bobby Nyk is throwing a purple party on Saturday for any traveling Ravens fans who might wanna drop by for a pre-game pep rally.

Here are the details:

“Meet Ravens fans in a safe pregame “tailgate” at the All Star Sports Bar in the Sheraton Grand Hotel DFW (the closest hotel to the stadium) before the last game to be played in Texas Stadium.

Food and festivities begin at noon on Saturday with shuttles to and from the stadium.  TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE TO THE GAME from the Sheraton with a super package.  JOIN Bobby Nyk (Señor Sportsmanship) for his 157th consecutive game, and meet lots of great people.”

It’s the Ravens first-ever trip into Dallas and they’re closing down the stadium this Saturday night on national TV. Should be a good time.

I’ve also got my travel group from Towson Travel coming along.

FYI: If the Ravens go on the road the weekend of Jan. 3-4 for a playoff game, WNST will be doing a roadtrip to New York, New England or Miami…send me an email if you want to be on the “interest” list.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

A rare matchup of cheesesteak vs. crab cake

Posted on 21 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It doesn’t happen often when the mean streets of the City of Brotherly Love and the quaint “Wire” world of Charm City get together in a meaningful sports contest. Four years ago, we had the infamous Halloween matchup where Terrell Owens – at that point still en vogue in fickle Filthy – danced over Ray Lewis in the north end zone of The Linc.

Twenty five years ago we saw the Orioles take down the Phillies in Game 5 at The Vet to bring Baltimore its final sniff of a World Title in the great game of baseball. Of course, that was “B.A.” – before Angelos.

But I can’t think of another time when Baltimore vs. Philly meant much of anything. And that’s a shame, really.

So as a guy who travels to Philadelphia regularly for concerts, culture and rock and roll (BTW: Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers are reuniting next Wednesday night for a one-time only show at the Electric Factory) it’s always interesting when a sports battle actually involves Baltimore vs. Philly.

As much as there is a “rivalry” of some kind – and let’s be honest, the Phillies are the World Champions and I see their gear all over our town these days so there isn’t much to discuss on the baseball side thanks to Angelos and company – Sunday should be a lot of fun if the violent drunk Philadelphia fans don’t overdo it.

It’s an all-too-rare 90-mile turf war.

Philadelphia – or Filthy, as I lovingly refer to it – has cheesesteaks, decent doughy pretzels, Rocky Balboa, the Flyers, Tastykakes and plenty of grit.

Baltimore has a purple love affair with our football team, Ray Lewis, the Eagles former special teams coach with John Harbaugh and I’ll still take crab cakes over Tastykakes or cheesesteaks.

I suppose it’s unfortunate in some ways that when Art Modell brought the Ravens to town that we didn’t somehow wind up in a division where we could play the Redskins, Giants and Eagles a little more frequently than every four years – or in this case, every EIGHT years in our home market.

Sure, I dig hating on Cleveland and Pittsburgh (as well as feeling empathy for the poor people of Cincinnati), but it’d be a lot more fun to talk about the Eagles and Philadelphia in some sort of “rivalry” way more than every four years.

Of course, ask me again after the game on Sunday once we all spend a day with our “well-behaved” neighbors from the north and I might feel differently.

It all depends on how many picks Donovan McNabb throws us on Sunday.

The Eagles fans are second only to the Browns fans to admire when their team is losing.

Bring on Gang Green…

Comments (0)