Ravens Attendance Strong Compared To NFL


Multiple news outlets are reporting that despite unprecedented growth in TV ratings, attendance at NFL games peaked in 2007 and has dropped each year since.

But that doesn't extend to Baltimore.

Ravens fans appear to be different from the rest of the league's. Baltimore has sold out every game since the team's inception in 1996 – including preseason contests.

The Ravens added 1,000 additional seats since 2004 and then started a waitlist that now holds about 2,800 people. The team caps it at 3,000.

"We have a special bond with our fans that we think makes the stadium experience very special," said Ravens Vice President of Ticket Sales & Operations Baker Koppelman.

"We also benefit from the incredible community that exists inside and outside the stadium. We provide a means for people to get together in a meaningful way whether we win or not."

Koppelman said the Ravens' renewal rate on season tickets has been 99 percent or higher for the last nine years and has never been lower than 98 percent. The season-ticket base is over 65,500 people.

The downward league-wide trend suggests that fans aren't willing to spend the money to support their team in the stadium.

The conclusion made by ProFootballTalk is that, "on the subject of the various changes being made to make the in-stadium experience as good or better than staying home, the NFL isn't being proactive."

That's once again not the case in Baltimore.

The Ravens have long had the goal to provide the best in-game experience in the NFL, and for years have thought of and executed changes to their stadium to make that a reality.

Perhaps most notably, the Ravens installed new 24-foot x 100-foot high definition video boards in each end zone prior to last season. Those dimensions would equal a 1,234-inch diagonal TV screen, and the gorgeous picture is one of the best around the league.

Baltimore also installed more than 500 Sony flat screen, high-definition televisions throughout M&T Bank Stadium.

The end zone monitors and concourse televisions give highlights from the NFL Network's RedZone channel at various times of the games so that fans can keep tabs on what's going on around the league and which of their fantasy players are having big days.

To help users on mobile devices, the Ravens and Verizon partnered to install more than 800 small antennas that allow fans to feed off a boosted 3G and/or 4G signal. The team also launched an app so fans can get real-time stats and news from their seat. Additional video components of the app such as instant replays, NFL RedZone and multiple camera angles, are also in the works.

Beginning this year, all fans in the stadium will see the same replays officials are looking at when they review challenges. It will be as if fans are under the hood with the referee.

"The experience our fans create at the stadium is something they hold sacred and want to be a part of," Koppelman said. "There may only be 10 chances to experience that feeling and they don't want to miss any of them. Big screen TVs are great too … for road games."

The Ravens have a few more unique in-game experiences.

The "Seven Nation Army" chant was introduced last year and quickly caught on. The Ravens are still the only team in the NFL with male cheerleaders, and thus have a full stunt team. They have the largest marching band in the league, and are one of six teams that have one at all.

The team continues to make additions to "Ravens Walk," the street lined with activities for fans as they walk to the stadium. It's aimed to enhance the pregame festivities in a town already known for having a strong tailgating community.

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