Ravens Will Keep Training Camp at Owings Mills Headquarters

The team announced on its website it would not return to McDaniel College for a 16th season.

The Ravens will hold Training Camp at their Owings Mills headquarters next season, rather than move it back to McDaniel College in Westminster, where it had been held since 1996.

Training Camp was moved to the team's Owings Mills facility in 2011 due to the accelerated offseason timetable created by the NFL lockout.

There had been speculation in recent weeks, as a long-term deal went unsigned, that the Ravens might not return to McDaniel, where the Baltimore Colts also held camp in the days when the school was known as Western Maryland College.

In a team statement, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he had mixed feelings about the move. Bisciotti was a Colts fan growing up.

"From a football and team point of view, it's an easy decision. Personally, this is difficult. Some of my best memories as a kid are my family's visits to the Colts' training camp in Westminster," he said. "Part of my devotion to the game and the players who made it great and are heroes to many of us, started on those visits."

Team president Dick Cass said the Ravens would hold at least three practices for fans away from the team's secluded headquarters off Deer Park Road, playfully known as "The Castle." held at M&T Bank Stadium last offseason.

"We've discussed a variety of possible community interactions. We are committed to having, at the minimum, three practices away from Owings Mills that would be open to the public with at least one of those at M&T Bank Stadium," Cass said. "We will have smaller groups of fans at practices here [at Owings Mills] and will have other community activities that include access to players and coaches.

"We want to do something in Westminster, and we are discussing some ideas. These will all have to fit into the first priority: getting the team ready for the regular season."

A team statement cited the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement -- which allows only one practice per day, whereas before two were often held -- and technology and space limitations at the Best Western Hotel in Westminster as deciding factors in their decision to remain in Owings Mills going forward.

Some thought that if the Ravens did not return to McDaniel, they might consider moving practices to 's Owings Mills campus, where were completed in the fall.

But a university spokesman said the school had not had any conversations with the Ravens -- though they'd welcome them.

"There have been no formal discussions between us, but obviously we would be interestd in speaking with them about that," John Buettner said. "I think we have a lot of football fans here, and our facilities are top notch, and I think a lot of people would enjoy it.

"If there were ever a possibility...I'm sure we'd be glad to speak with them."

withavengeance December 03, 2011 at 01:45 PM
Sad. But the Ravens management had created too many inane rules at the camp anyway.
Michael December 03, 2011 at 03:51 PM
I guess I understand the reasoning behind the decision, but the McDaniel College training camps were the only chance most Ravens' fans had for any kind of interaction with the players....especially the kids. In many ways, it's the end of an era. When my sons were younger,. I took them to Westminster at least once each year during training camp. Those brief encounters with the players made both of them rabid Ravens fans. My oldest son's most prized possession is a football signed by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden, Todd Heap, and Matt Stover at training camp in 2003. The Ravens' camp was a big thing for the city of Westminster, McDaniel College, and many thousands of Raven's fans. I just don't think whatever the Ravens do to try replacing the "special atmosphere" created at McDaniels will be enough.
Alexander Pyles December 03, 2011 at 07:25 PM
I tend to agree, Michael. My best training camp memory came in 2000, at the start of the football season. I had a Ravens-branded football that I asked about a dozen players to sign. That day played a big part in me becoming so attached to the team (Super Bowl XXXV didn't hurt). Also have great memories of players - superstars like Jonathan Ogden and role players like Anthony Wright, too - staying out on the field until every last autograph request was fulfilled. I'll definitely miss camp at McDaniel.


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