Those hot summer days spent watching the Ravens practice on bleachers out in Westminster might all be over. During the NFL lockout the Ravens promised to return to McDaniel for open training camps after they cancelled early in the negotiations this year. With their contract up in Westminster and a deal still up in the air, the Ravens could be looking to move their camp for 2012.
According to Jon Meoli of ExploreCarroll.com, McDaniel hasn’t changed it’s mind and has even set up petition posters signed by residents to bring the Ravens back. “We want to make sure they know we want them back,” Westminster Ecomonic Development Administrator Stan Ruchlewicz told Meoli.
Petition posters? If the city has resorted to setting up petition posters then logic tells me that the Ravens already have one foot out the door. But where would they go?
The organization has increasingly made camp more private over the past few seasons. Their recent autograph policy changes only allowed eligible kids to receive autographs when previously anyone with a pen could get something signed. Last year the team pulled the plug on an open training camp early into the negotiations during the NFL lockout. Maybe they take the whole camp and move it out of the eye of the public altogether.
But that’s not the concern on Ruchlewicz. “There were rumors being spread around that because Stevenson opened their stadium, they’d go back to the old place,” Ruchlewicz said later. The old place meaning Stevenson University where the Baltimore Colts used to hold their training camp. Stevenson just launched a Division III football program this season and built a stadium that seats 35,000. If they want to keep the public happy, Stevenson may be an even better place to do it.
All of this is speculation because the Ravens have yet to sign a deal with either city. It would be hard to imagine Westminster losing the Ravens during the summer though, but then again the new facility could make training camp even better.