BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a super sports weekend in Baltimore. The Orioles are vying for the top spot in the American League East and the Ravens kick off their season on Monday.
Gigi Barnett reports an Olympic-sized celebration is also planned; the events are sweeping millions into Charm City.
Right on the heels of the Grand Prix of Baltimore comes what’s being called the biggest sports weekend in decades.
This weekend, the Orioles are in a dead heat battle against the Yankees to top the American League East. The last time fans saw this kind of O’s action was 17 years ago. Then the Ravens hit the gridiron in their season opener at M&T Bank Stadium. The Purple Birds will have a national spotlight on Monday Night Football. Add in a city-wide celebration for 22-time Olympic medal winner Michael Phelps and this super sports weekend goes to higher heights.
“Baltimore is the sports mecca. We’ve got the events going. We’ve got playoff atmosphere baseball,” said sports fan Jason Kahler. “Baltimore is where it’s at.”
Visit Baltimore president Tom Noonan agrees.
“We’re a city full of athletic winners,” Noonan said.
He says fans have waited a long time to see a perfect sports storm in Baltimore and businesses citywide are looking to cash in.
“I think you’ll see an uptick at Harbor East and Little Italy, as well, because fans are going to park and go out of there and go to a restaurant before they walk to the stadium,” Noonan said.
But Noonan says all this sports action isn’t just about the dollars—it’s also about the national attention on the city.
“People are seeing Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore and what a beautiful city and that’s great for tourism,” Noonan said.
The Ravens, Orioles and Michael Phelps are all working together during this exciting sports weekend at Camden Yards on Saturday. Wide receiver Anquan Bolden and some other Ravens players are expected to attend the game. On Monday Night Football, Michael Phelps will be named an honorary Ravens captain.
The city plans to honor Olympian Michael Phelps on Monday afternoon at the Inner Harbor.
Be sure to watch the Ravens take on the Bengals on Monday. Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. on WJZ.