The Baltimore Ravens appeared in the National Football League (NFL) in 1996 after Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell decided to move his franchise to the self-proclaimed “Greatest City in America”.
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Baltimore, a place with a long tradition in American Football, had not had an NFL team since 1983 when the Colts moved their headquarters to Indianapolis.
Despite not being a new franchise, and after forcing Modell to leave the Browns’ records and numbers in Cleveland to be taken over at some point, the Baltimore team was considered an expansion team in some sporting and administrative aspects.
The name “Ravens” is inspired by the poem “The Raven” by Baltimore author Edgar Allan Poe. The nickname was chosen in a contest among fans and received 33,288 votes.
However, a wheelchair basketball team in the 1970s was the first to use the name “Baltimore Ravens”. Its rights were sold to the NFL team after it arrived in Baltimore. As a result, the basketball team changed its name to “Maryland Ravens”.
Since their official appearance in 1996, the Ravens have been one of the most successful in the NFL, qualifying for the postseason thirteen times since 2000 and winning two Super Bowl titles (XXXV and XLVII).
The Baltimore Ravens are the second youngest franchise in the NFL. After their creation in 1996, only one other franchise was created, the Houston Texans, in 2002.
Despite this, the soccer tradition in the city of Baltimore has always been very present, as the city’s team used to be the Baltimore Colts.
When the Baltimore Colts moved to the city of Indianapolis in 1984, the people of Baltimore voiced their complaints and lobbied for the town to once again have a franchise.
In 1996, Art Modell, owner of the Cleveland Browns at the time, decided to relocate the Browns to Baltimore City. The NFL agreed but forced him to leave the Browns’ heritage in Cleveland, thus practically having to found a new franchise.
M&T Stadium is the home of the Baltimore Ravens. It is known for being one of the most atmospheric stadiums in the NFL.
Its construction was completed in 1998 and is located next to Camden Yards Stadium, home of the Baltimore Orioles, the city’s MLB team. In an agreement with Maryland, the Ravens committed to play all their home games in the form of Maryland.
Its first name was Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards until 1999 when the company PSINet acquired the rights to rename it PSINet Stadium.
In 2002 the company went bankrupt, and while the Ravens were looking for a new sponsor, the stadium was renamed Ravens Stadium.
In 2003 the M&T Bank Branch acquired the rights, and since then, it has been known as M&T Bank Stadium. As a curiosity, M&T Stadium has a statue in honor of Johnny Unitas, former QB of Baltimore Colts, and Ray Lewis, former LB of Baltimore Ravens.
M & M&T Bank Stadium is also well known among college soccer fans. For many years, the Navy vs. Army game has been played in this stadium because the U.S. Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, a few miles from Baltimore.
One of the Corvida parish traditions is to sing ‘Seven Nation Army’ en masse at the exit of the players, as we can see in the following video, creating a loud atmosphere. This sequence is repeated throughout the match on several occasions.