Ravens start Super Bowl defense on road

Ravens start Super Bowl defense on road
March 22, 2013, 3:15 pm
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The Orioles and Ravens were unable to resolve their scheduling conflict over Sept. 5, and the Super Bowl Champions are going to have to open defense of their title on the road.

Both teams released statements Friday afternoon saying they tried to resolve the scheduling conflict and were unable to do so.
The Orioles have a game scheduled on Sept. 5 against the Chicago White Sox, a night after they play in Cleveland, and the White Sox are scheduled for a game in New York with the Yankees. Normally, afternoon games aren’t scheduled when a team has to travel the night before.

The Ravens wanted to open the season at home on Sept. 5 so that the game could be televised on NBC’s “Thursday Night Football.” In recent years, the NFL has awarded the Super Bowl champion the first game of the season.

This year, the Ravens will still be featured in the Thursday night opener, but they’ll play on the road, presumably in either Denver, where they won a thrilling double overtime game in the AFC divisional playoffs, or in Pittsburgh, against their most heated rivals.

In 2012, the kickoff game was moved to Wednesday night so that it wouldn’t conflict with the final night of the Democratic National Convention. This year, the NFL was reluctant to schedule the game on Wednesday because it was the first night of Rosh Hashanah.

“After thorough discussions among the Orioles, the NFL and the Ravens, it became clear that holding both an Orioles' game and the Ravens' regular season opener on the same day would create logistical situations that would cause serious issues for the city of Baltimore, and fans for both teams,” Ravens president Dick Cass said in a statement.

“The Ravens greatly appreciate the willingness of the Orioles to adjust the start of their game in an effort to make this sports spectacular happen. But, in the end, anticipated problems with parking, rush-hour traffic, plus crowd and car congestion around Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium, will keep the doubleheader from taking place."  

The Orioles released a statement of their own.
 “The Orioles have great respect for the Super Bowl Champion Ravens and thank Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association, and the White Sox for doing everything possible to work with us to explore all options to reschedule the September 5 game.  We also appreciate the work of the NFL and the Ravens over the past several weeks as we attempted to accommodate the Ravens' interest in a game the same evening.

“Given the limited options available to reschedule the game at that late date in the season, the parties jointly determined that even an earlier start time would still create such enormous logistical difficulties that it would greatly diminish the fan experience for both events which all parties realized would not be in the interest of their fans or the City," the statement reads.

The issue was complicated because in order for a change in the Orioles’ game time to be made, approval of MLB, the Orioles and the White Sox had to be given. The Orioles decided they didn’t want to move Thursday’s game and schedule a doubleheader either Friday or Saturday.