(Image courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens)
The Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday a three-year, approximately $120 million self-funded investment that will enhance the fan experience at M&T Bank Stadium. Demonstrating a continued commitment to create an exceptional gameday atmosphere, the improvements include new 4K ultra-high definition video displays, escalators and elevators to the upper deck, a new sound system and upgraded kitchen facilities.
The Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) has also agreed to contribute an additional $24 million – designated for general stadium upkeep – bringing a $144 million in combined funds that will improve the stadium over the next several years.
During the upgrades process, the MSA has the right to approve designs, but will work side-by-side with the Ravens, who will coordinate all contracting on their $120 million investment.
“Not only will these improvements keep the stadium fresh, but they will enrich our gameday experience by delivering added convenience, entertainment and excitement,” Ravens president Dick Cass stated. “We constantly strive to create a ‘wow’ factor for our fans.”
The stadium, which originally cost $220 million to build, opened in 1998. Since then, the Ravens have spent approximately $100 million on past enhancements, including a $45 million investment from 2013-15 to install Wi-Fi capabilities, advanced LED video displays, redesigned concession stands and upgraded concourses.
“We maintain the goal of providing consistent satisfaction for everyone who attends Ravens games and other events we host,” Ravens senior vice president of stadium operations Roy Sommerhof added. “We believe this is an important investment that will continue to make our venue one of the NFL’s best.”
Construction has already begun on the first phase of improvements, which are estimated to cost $32 million and will be fully funded by the Ravens. The following enhancements will be completed by the start of the 2017 NFL season:
Video Displays: Two dramatic, 4K ultra-high definition video displays, which will double the width of the stadium’s current standard HD boards, will remain positioned behind each end zone below the upper level. These new boards, measuring approximately 200 feet wide and 36 feet high, will equal the highest resolution and clearest picture of any stadium video display in the United States.
To fully enhance the in-stadium video production, the Ravens will also expand the audio/video control room and install 4K cameras, lenses and control equipment. The Ravens have invested in 11 manned cameras and additional robotic cameras, which will provide fans with more angles of live action, statistics and replays than ever before.
Another improvement will be the addition of new LED ribbon displays, which will be installed around the seating bowl’s suite level. In total, the Ravens will be installing more than 28,000 square feet of video displays.
“The size and resolution of the new video boards will display breathtaking images, and the new 4K cameras, lenses, replay and graphics systems will enable us to cover the game like never before,” Ravens director of broadcasting and gameday productions Jay O’Brien stated. “We are excited for fans to see our re-imagined RavensVision production in 2017.”
PHASES TWO & THREE
The Ravens and the MSA will continue to discuss additional stadium improvements for the second and third phases, of which construction will begin following the 2017 and 2018 NFL seasons, respectively. These improvements will include the following enhancements:
Escalators and Elevators: Escalators and elevators to the 500 level will be installed to improve crowd flow and ensure convenience for fans accessing seats in the stadium’s upper level.
“Corner Notch” Suites & Video Boards: New suites will be built into each open notch of the stadium’s upper bowl. Large 4K ultra-high definition video boards, measuring approximately 33 feet wide and 44 feet high, will also be installed atop each of the four suites, providing fans with additional in-game content, NFL highlights/scores, statistics and fantasy information.
Club Level: All concession stands, restrooms and bar/lounge areas on the stadium’s club level will receive upgrades. These developments will enhance the area’s general design/comfort, audio/video capabilities, quality of service and food options.
Improved Kitchen Facilities: The stadium will undergo kitchen renovations and have an additional kitchen built, improving the quality of food and providing more options at concession stands throughout the entire venue.
Sound System: A new sound system in the seating bowl will be installed.