BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Ravens are officially back in downtown Baltimore, even though their first preseason game isn’t until next week. WJZ was with the Ravens for their only open practice in front of a fired-up crowd.

Meghan McCorkell was there as the team took the field.

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More than 22,000 Ravens fans got a sneak peek at what the team will look like this season.

The purple and black are back in Baltimore.

“I love the Ravens! Ravens all day. Look. Tattoo. Ravens Nation!” said Maria Hope.

Fans pour into M&T Bank Stadium for the team’s open practice, which is free to the public.

From first timers to front row seats, the practice gives fans a rare chance to get up close to their on-field heroes.

Open practice isn’t just fun for the fans; it’s good for the team, too.

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Head coach John Harbaugh says the stadium experience helps his players prepare for the noise of game day, and it’s a win for families who may not be able to afford game tickets.

“I really feel great about the fans that don’t have a chance to come out here normally during the season. It’s a pretty expensive place to be. A chance to be in this environment. This is a gem of a place,” Coach Harbaugh said.

Now the team and fans are keeping their eye on the prize and counting down until football season starts.

“Sundays, I’m divorced from 1 o’clock til end of Sunday night football. I’m sorry, that’s just me,” said Aaron Butler. “I cook. So if I cook for her, she don’t feel bad.”

He must be a pretty good cook!

The Ravens’ first preseason game is next week against the Saints.

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WJZ is your home for 11 Ravens games this season, starting with the season opener September 13 against the Broncos.