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.
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." More than 24,000 fans attended the one public practice 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 Stevenson University's Owings Mills campus, where a new football facility and stadium 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."