Owings Mills, MD – The Baltimore Ravens have decided to continue hosting their training camp at Owings Mills, rather than move back to their traditional site at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland.
Ravens president Dick Cass said the team had "long, serious discussions" about the decision, but believes Owings Mills will allow the club to better prepare for the season.
The Ravens had held their training camp at McDaniel for the first 15 years of their existence, but moved the 2011 camp to Owings Mills because of the NFL lockout.
"We owe much thanks to the leadership at McDaniel for their patience as we came to this decision and for all the outstanding help they have given the Ravens through the years. They have been a great partner, often going out of their way to make sure we could prepare our team at a high, high level," Cass said in a release."
Prior to the Ravens using McDaniel, the then-Baltimore Colts used the school -- then known as Western Maryland College -- for training camp from 1953-71.
Part of the drawback of moving the camp to Owings Mills is that fans cannot attend sessions. Cass said in June that lack of parking space and traffic flow are the primary problems.
"We completely understand that this takes away an important part of our connection with our fans. I regret that," said Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti in the release.
Cass said in June that the team anticipated being back at McDaniel for 2012, but Friday's release indicated several reasons for the permanent switch:
- Owings Mills is conducive to the best practices, because of an indoor facility, and top-end weight room and training areas.
- The Best Western Hotel in Westminster doesn't provide enough rooms for all the team personnel and practice needs, like hosting individual position meetings. The hotel also doesn't have up-to-date technological capacity.
- The new collective bargaining agreement limits teams to one practice session per day, and the Owings Mills facility provides greater efficiency.
Cass added that the team has discussed ways to keep fans involved in training camp, and said the Ravens are committed to having three practices away from Owings Mills "at the minimum." He also said the Ravens will have smaller groups of fans at Owings Mills practices.