Right Field

Orioles vs. Ravens?

Winning the Super Bowl last month earned the Ravens the right to host the 2013 NFL season opener.

There’s just one itty-bitty problem: M&T Bank Stadium shares its parking facilities with nearby Orioles Park.

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Biscotti said his team and the NFL are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the season opens at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 5, so it’s up to the Baltimore Orioles to give a little themselves.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Biscotti has offered to cover any lost revenues the Orioles might incur if they agree to move their 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards to an afternoon start time.

“In fairness to Major League Baseball and the Angeloses, we’re trying to dump a pretty big problem on them and we’re asking them to make a lot of concessions that will benefit us and potentially harm them though it doesn’t necessarily harm them,” Bisciotti said, according to the newspaper. “The bottom line is if they wanted to do it, they would find a way to do it. From the Ravens and the NFL standpoint, we’ll do whatever we have to do in order to keep that tradition.”

The defending Super Bowl champion has opened the season on a Thursday night since 2004. . . .

The Orioles are scheduled to play the Indians in Cleveland on Sept. 4 at 7:05 p.m. Under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, getaway games are not to be scheduled or rescheduled to start later than 5 p.m. if either club is required to travel for a day game, scheduled the next day, between cities in which the in-flight time is more than one and a half hours.

The rule can be waived by a vote by the players on the team it affects, in this case the Orioles.

The Ravens do not want to move the game to a day earlier, as was done last year to avoid conflict with President Obama’s Democratic Convention acceptance speech, because that would be September 4, the first night of Rosh Hashanah.

I suspect that, in addition to the issue collective-bargaining agreement noted above, Orioles owner Peter Angelos isn’t thrilled with the idea of scheduling a matinee during the first day of Rosh Hashanah, when many of his Jewish patrons will still be in synagogue.

“Jolly Old St. Nick Done Sink the Ship” made clear his thoughts on a related Baseball Think Factory thread:

The whole brouhaha stems from the NFL’s all-of-nine-year-old “tradition” that the season should open with a Thursday night marquee matchup at the home of the Super Bowl Champion. I sincerely hope that the Orioles just tell the NFL to stuff it, and I say that as a huge Ravens fan.

(Emphasis mine.)

No argument here, St. Nick.

Or, if the NFL values so much the idea that the season opener should be on a Thursday, let it relocate the game to Cleveland, where the Indians and the new Browns don’t have to share parking facilities.

Oh, and by the way, weren’t the baseball–football scheduling conflicts supposed to go the way of the dodo bird when we tore down all of the hideous multipurpose stadiums? What was Baltimore thinking when it elected to plop a 70,000-seat football stadium next to Orioles Park?

More here.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.


The Latest