Construction Cost: $220 million
Home of the Baltimore Ravens since their 1998 opening, M&T Bank Stadium was my first stadium I visited outside of the NFC East. They played the Cowboys in 2012, and I’m lucky enough to have a friend who was/is a season ticket holder. The game was thrilling: the Cowboys failed to convert a two-point conversion to tie the game, but then recovered an onside kick to set up a 51-yard game winning field goal. Kicker Dan Bailey missed wide left with six seconds remaining, and the Cowboys wound up losing 31-29 in heartbreaking, but breathtaking fashion. It was an exhilarating final two minutes, and definitely a game I won’t forget.
But when I think of my visit to Baltimore, I don’t dwell on the missed opportunity to see a miraculous come from behind Cowboys win, nor do I immediately reminisce on the electrifying atmosphere that kept the thousands of fans on their feet in the final minutes inside M&T Bank Stadium. I think of the beautiful stadium and the city that surrounded it.
Baltimore was incredible. The fans were loyal and loudly faithful to their team, but still respectful to the outsider like myself … even if I was wearing a Dez Bryant jersey. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home to the MLB’s own Baltimore Orioles, was basically right next door to the football stadium and easily viewable on your walk in. The Inner Harbor, Baltimore’s historical seaport and tourist attraction – the landmark of the city – was seriously breathtaking. And it was just a short distance walk away from the football and baseball stadiums. I plan on going back to Baltimore to see a game in the future, and the Inner Harbor is the #1 reason why. But don’t let that sway you into thinking the stadium wasn’t great in itself. It was.
Photo credit of the Inner Harbor above: Baltimore.org
Featured Image credit: baltimoresun.com