M&T Bank Stadium is the home to the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore's National Football
League franchise. Opened in 1998, M&T Bank Stadium is one of the newest and most
state-of-the-art stadiums built. M&T Bank Stadium was originally known as Ravens Stadium
at Camden Yards, until ISP PSINet acquired the naming rights in 1999, naming it PSINet
Stadium. It then reverted back to Ravens Stadium in 2002 when PSINet filed for
bankruptcy. In 2003 M&T Bank acquired naming rights to the stadium. Two other
companies were in the running to be granted naming rights to the stadium; they were
reportedly, Nextel and CarMax. Following the September 2002 death of Baltimore Colts
quarterback Johnny Unitas, public sentiment leaned toward renaming the then-sponsorless
stadium after the Baltimore icon. However, the Ravens and the Maryland Stadium Authority
held firm in their right to negotiate naming rights fees. In the end, a plaza on the stadium's
northwest corner was named "Unitas Plaza", complete with a bronze statue of the Hall of
Famer (in 2003, Towson University in the Baltimore suburbs named their home stadium,
where the NCAA Division I-AA Tigers play, after Unitas).
Located in downtown Baltimore, the stadium is immediately adjacent to Oriole Park at
Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. The stadium is served by the Hamburg
Street station of the Baltimore Light Rail.
The stadium originally featured a natural grass surface. An artificial surface, Sportexe
Momentum Turf, was installed for the 2003 football season.
The stadium served as the home field for the fictional professional football team The
Washington Sentinels in the 2000 movie The Replacements with Keanu Reeves and Gene
Hackman (ironically, it was called Nextel Stadium). The stadium was also supposed to be
the location of the football game in the 2002 movie The Sum of All Fears and included
footage of the Presidential motorcade going to the building; however, the stadium used for
the aerial shots is a domed stadium (this detail is faithful to the original novel, in which the
stadium was domed). (Incidentally, the scene with the motorcade shows them driving the
wrong way, away from the stadium rather than toward it.) The teams that stood in for NFL
players were Canadian Football League teams, the Toronto Argonauts and the Montreal
Alouettes. Coincidentally, the Alouettes are the team that played in Baltimore prior to the
arrival of the Baltimore Ravens. At that time they were called the Baltimore Stallions.
On October 28, 2006, the stadium held a contest between Notre Dame and Navy in which
Notre Dame won 38-14 and in 2007 the stadium will hold the Army-Navy game.
The stadium also serves as an alternate venue for the Johns Hopkins University's men's
lacrosse team, and was the site of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship in 2003 and
2004. It will again host the lacrosse finals in 2007. Major League Lacrosse's Baltimore
Bayhawks used the stadium as their home during the 2002 season.
The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association holds the four state football
championships for Maryland's public high schools at M&T Bank Stadium. Two very
important Baltimore high school rivalry games are also held at the stadium every
November. Baltimore City College plays Baltimore Polytechnic Institute every November, in
one of the oldest high school football rivalries in the United States. Every Thanksgiving,
Loyola Blakefield and Calvert Hall College also square off in what has now been called for
many years as the Turkey Bowl. Fans for both games reach up to 13,000 people. Both
play on separate days following an altercation during the 80's, when the games were
played back-to-back at Memorial Stadium.