"20 Ravens Relics In 20 Years" is a series celebrating the team's 20th anniversary that will tell the story behind 20 key objects in franchise history. The stories and photos of the relics will be unveiled before each 2015 game. *Fans can view all of the items featured in our Ravens Relics series on permanent display at the Sports Legends Museum and in an interactive display on Ravens Walk before every home game.*
One day in the early 2000s, John Ziemann was talking to then Ravens Manager of Fan Development Lisa Dixon about the need to catalogue the Ravens' past.
"She goes, 'Well I've got this,'" recalls Ziemann, who is now the Sports Legend Museum's Director of Community Relations. "She pulls out this ticket strip from 1996 out of her desk drawer. Right away, I went crazy saying we've got to preserve this."
That ticket strip was the start of the Sports Legends Museum's Ravens collection, which has now branched into a major part of the Camden Yards location downtown. If it weren't for that strip, who knows what precious Ravens artifacts would never have been kept.
"There was no rhyme or reason to anything. We were so new and busy trying to figure everything out," Dixon said. "You'd open a closet and you'd find stuff in there."
Those 1996 tickets were a hot commodity at the time. It was the Ravens' first year in existence and fans were clamoring for football to return.
On May 16, 1996, the Ravens unveiled their season ticket and PSL policies. For the next month, fans were invited to Memorial Stadium to come and sit in the seats to get a look at what their view might be like before they bought.
On June 14, tickets went on sale. The Ravens sold more than 50,000 in the first 14 days.
"They went like crazy. There were people fighting for them," Ziemann said.
One strip of tickets currently resides on display in the lobby of the Under Armour Performance Center. It shows that a bleacher seat that cost just $25.
Each ticket had an "Inaugural Season" banner stamped on it, and the ticket for the inaugural game was made bigger than all the rest with the Ravens' logo prominently displayed instead of the opponent's helmet.