Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — NFL football dominates Maryland this weekend. The Ravens and the Washington Redskins compete in home playoff games on the same day for the first time in history!
As Kai Jackson explains, those big games mean big money for Maryland. Millions of dollars are expected to pour into the state.
As the Ravens and the Redskins get ready to play their games, fans and area businesses in the state are getting ready for what could be some high dollar football parties.
Excitement is building in Baltimore. The Ravens are hosting the Colts in a playoff game on Sunday. Restaurants and bars are stocking up on supplies and hoping for a good game with fans ready to shell out entertainment dollars.
“That would be good for us and all the other bars and establishments around here,” said Tyler Ell, the assistant general manager of Mad River.
Fans still have until Friday to win tickets to Sunday’s game.
“We are asking our fans to locate these golden birdie head stencils, the ones that have the mantra ‘team’ underneath, upload their photos to the Ravens website or Twitter and Instagram with hashtag ‘goldenlogo’ for a chance to win tickets to Sunday’s game,” said Ravens marketing coordinator Katie Bollinger.
The Ravens-Colts game is the AFC game taking place in Baltimore, and 42 miles south in Landover, Prince George’s County, the other Maryland matchup is an NFC game. The Washington Redskins will play the Seattle Seahawks.
The state comptroller’s office and the Ravens said both games will generate some $5 million in amusement, admissions, sales and taxes.
“The bars are going to be even fuller. The restaurants are going to be even fuller. The tailgate is going to be packed. It’s gonna be a huge game,” said Downtown Partnership spokesperson Megan Isennock.
Business owners and fans said Baltimore will be on fire this weekend for the Ravens-Colts playoff game.
That fire in part will be fueled by Pro-Bowler and all-star linebacker Ray Lewis. He announced after 17 seasons, he is retiring.
“The playoffs are always good in Baltimore, but when Ray Lewis announced that he is going to retire, it created another dynamic for us, so it’s going really well,” said Steve Nickel, the owner of Sports Tickets Unlimited.
“The Ravens, in general, really bring the city up, lift up our spirits and you know, we just gotta keep the season going,” said Ravens fan Michael Reid.
“[Fans] want not only the tickets, but everyone wants to keep the collector’s tickets at the end,” said Nickel.
The Redskins have RG3 and the Ravens have RL1, Ray Lewis. One manager said Thursday night that he is a leader among men. Fans will be looking for that leadership as the Ravens play the Colts Sunday.
“Because we’ve made the playoffs a few years now, people weren’t as excited, but as soon as Ray made the announcement the market turned dramatically on the dime and the phones have been ringing off the hook,” said Nickel.
The Downtown Partnership said a number of hotels are running weekend packages geared toward the Ravens game.