BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the day Ravens fans have had marked on their calendars. Saturday marks the start of the preseason.

Fans will be welcomed inside M&T Bank Stadium for game action for the first time in months and businesses are getting ready. The Ravens will host the New Orleans Saints for their only preseason home game.

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Jeffrey Katzen, owner of Baltimore Sports and Novelty, said jerseys are flying off the shelves.

“We’ve had a lot of people come in the last couple of days going to the game on Saturday. It’s been pretty steady” Katzen said. “Last year, because we didn’t know what was going on, we cancelled a lot of orders.”

Some unknowns still hang over proceedings. Coronavirus cases are on the rise, driven by the Delta variant. Fans are able to come back but they will have to wear a mask in all indoor areas of the stadium, in compliance with the latest order from Mayor Brandon Scott. Fans may only remove their masks when eating or drinking.

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At Pickles Pub, they’re ready for the crowds.

“There’s going to be fans in the stands so that’s awesome which means there’s going to be fans coming here before the game,” said general manager Tom Leonard. “To a lot of people, the Ravens are religion so it’s like going to church on Sundays. You’re filling the place up.”

Fans like Jerry McCallum Jr. are ready to sit in the pews… or the stands, whatever the case may be.

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“We’re going all the way. We’re going to the Super Bowl,” McCallum said.

Kelsey Kushner