In the coming weeks, Ravens Personal Seat License (PSL) owners will notice their season ticket invoices for the 2009 campaign arrive in their mailboxes, marking a shift in focus to the future of last year's AFC Championship-contending squad.
They will also notice a price increase for their seats.
But a slight jump in cost of attendance is nothing new for the Ravens or their fans. Since 2001, the Ravens have raised their ticket prices every other year.
Last season, Baltimore was one of only seven teams that did not increase their charge.
According to Ravens officials, such a move keeps ticket prices among the top third of all teams in the NFL. As one of the league's lowest-ranked television markets, Baltimore must maintain that status to stay competitive.
"We understand that we are in a down economy but to change our every other year philosophy would likely mean even greater increases in future years," said Baker Koppelman, the Ravens' vice president of ticket operations. "The economy is only one of many factors but ultimately our goal is to provide a product that fans can take pride in.
"Everything was taken into consideration when making this decision. We want to give fans the type of team they just experienced in 2008, and in order to do that, we must remain financially competitive with other teams."
A large part of that is an annual rise in player costs. According to the Ravens, fees associated with the salary cap and player benefits have increased by 15 percent since 2007, which was the last time the team changed prices.
With marquee unrestricted free agents such as starting linebackers Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Bart Scott, in addition to center Jason Brown, safety Jim Leonhard and kicker Matt Stover, the Ravens have many key decisions to make under the $124 million salary cap in 2009, which is up from $104 million a season ago.
"This ticket price increase helps us keep pace with these rising costs and puts us in a better position to attract and retain the kinds of players we all want to see in Ravens purple," Koppelman noted.
Starting with owner Steve Bisciotti, the Ravens have always been committed to spending the money it takes to field a winner. Since he acquired control of the club in 2004, Bisciotti decided that every dollar of revenue generated by the Ravens is funneled back into the team.
"The Ravens place a high priority on making fans proud by winning games, competing for championships, providing a first-class fan experience on game day and bringing our community together for a common cause," said Koppelman.
Ravens officials have also committed to keeping ticket prices the same for 2010, as the current increase will keep Baltimore in the top third for the next two years.
Coming off an unexpected 13-6 season, the Ravens advanced to the conference title game with their trademark stout defense and the strong arm of rookie quarterback Joe Flacco.
In addition, first-time head coach John Harbaugh instilled a tough, team-first mentality that the Ravens believe can breed a mentality of success for years down the road.
"While the incredible memories of last season are still fresh in our minds, we are looking to 2009 in hopes that can we take those few extra steps to a Super Bowl," Koppelman said. "Bringing back our 12th man is the first step towards that championship."