It’s a crisp fall afternoon. Flocks of people dressed in purple walk toward a venue that has hosted numerous great franchises. Many come through, but few ever leave victorious.
I am talking about none other than M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.
M&T Bank Stadium (formerly known as PSINet Stadium) opened to fans in 1998, two years after the then Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens.
One of the more beautiful stadiums in the league, the Bank is not so pretty for those who come in to take a visit.
The 185-foot high enclosure centered in downtown Baltimore can hold up to 71,008 fans. The fans are what make the Bank come to life.
In a recent article from Chris Mueller of Yardbarker, the Ravens ranked 11th out of all 32 NFL fan bases. While fans bring the noise, the players are what draw out the emotion.
Prior to every home game, former linebacker, Ravens’ great, and NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis would exit the tunnel, pick up a piece of the turf, take a bite, and do a dance (squirrel dance) all while Nelly’s Hot in Herre is blasted throughout the speakers of the Bank.
It seemed like Lewis knew the Bank was special. Who else chows down on artificial and natural grass?
Ravens take home-field advantage to a new level
In 22 years at the Bank, the Ravens have played 184 games at home during the regular season. Of those 184, the team has a record of 131-53 (.711).
Over the last three seasons, Baltimore has a home record of 18-6 (.750) in regular-season games.
The Ravens have had some underperforming teams in the past. But even during those rough years, the squad always played extremely well at home.
While there are many factors that come into play as to why the Ravens have performed well at home, it ultimately comes down to the team’s mindset of winning football.
M&T Bank Stadium is just that — a stadium. If opponents have a superstition that the venue comes to life on Sundays, let them dwell on it.
It certainly has helped over the last couple of decades.