BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Football fever in Baltimore is at a high Saturday night. In just hours, the Ravens will face the Houston Texans in the divisional round of the playoffs.

It’s a showdown that brings the playoffs back to M&T Bank Stadium for the first time in five years.

And as Weijia Jiang reports, business owners hope pumped up fans help pump up their bottom dollar.

As Baltimore braces for the biggest match-up of the season, so do area businesses.

“Tomorrow is going to be standing room only,” said Jimmy Copek of Buffalo Wild Wings. “All the tables will be filled, extra seats will be taken, trying to be in the building, feel the excitement, get a view of the TVs.”

At Buffalo Wild Wings in Owings Mills, the chicken is ready to go. And fans are there trying to pass the time until kick off with — what else — but more football.

“The pumped, the pre-getting pumped for tomorrow because we’re all big Ravens fans over here,” T.J. Hart said.

“I’m actually not going to be able to sleep tonight,” Chris, another Ravens fan, said.

Economists say that excitement leads to spending for the game– lots of it.

“You’re talking at least a $50 million revenue event,” Morris Segall of SPJ Trend Advisors said. “It could probably be more than that but I’m being very conservative.”

Of course, not everyone is heading out. Plenty are staying in and they want their homes to be Ravens ready.

“She wants to get, like, everything purple so we can decorate it,” Kaylie Hicks said.

Kaylie Hicks, 7, is helping mom load up the cart with goodies– like many have been doing all week– getting ready for get-togethers.

“From plates to napkins to table covers and anything that would work as a party item on a table in purple,” John Bear of Party City said.

“We bought 12 balloons from Party City and a bunch of other stuff in the truck,” Ravens fan Christopher Burgess said.

Wherever fans are watching, it’s a big help for the economy. And it could get even sweeter.

“Ordered a cake with Ravens logo and we’re gonna have a good time. Ravens gonna kick some serious butt. Yes!” said Jessie Trent.

Managers at stores like Party City say they are going to restock as soon as the Ravens win again because the closer the team gets to Indianapolis, the more people will be desperate for anything purple.

If the Ravens win Sunday, they will play the New England Patriots next.

You can see the Ravens take on Houston at M&T Bank Stadium on WJZ-13. The action starts Sunday at 1 p.m.


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