“We get one opportunity in life, one chance at life to do whatever you’re going to do, and lay your foundation and make whatever mark you’re going to make. Whatever legacy you’re going to leave; leave your legacy.” This powerful quote is by one of the greatest Baltimore Ravens players of all time, Ray Lewis. Last night I had the privilege of standing on the very field that he once played on. I attended a construction tour of M&T Stadium -home of the Baltimore Ravens with CREW Baltimore. It was so informative, I had to share it with all of you. Did you know M&T is the first athletic stadium in the country to become Gold LEED Certified? Six years ago their electric bill was over two million dollars a year and now is less than 1.5 million. In addition, with all their changes, they are saving 300,000 gallons of water each year. These savings are incredible! Aside from all of the information I gained from this tour, I was also able to see things that I had never seen before when attending the games. I had never been in a suite before, they were gorgeous. It was like being in the comfort of your own home while still being at the stadium and seeing the game in person. You truly get the best of both worlds, especially when the temperatures drop. We were given a tour of Jamal Lewis’s old suite. This suite now belongs to a local law firm. These suites run between $175,000 and $300,000 per year. That does not include your tickets to the game nor your food and drinks. I would just like to say that if anyone owns one of these suits and has some extra room, my family and I would be more than willing to keep you company. The tour guide from S.A.F.E. Management is in charge of Steve Bisciotti’s suite during the game. First of all, did you know his suite is on the visitor’s side because he gave the Modell family the suite on the home side at mid field? When the game starts, Steve Bisciotti goes in a suite completely by himself and cannot be disturbed during the game. There was one game where the had to turn the governor away because he cannot be disturbed. As soon as the tour guide started talking about Steve Bisciotti, I immediately thought of my husband during my son’s high school football games. He too prefers solitude while the game is going on. You’ll find him doing the chains or even on top of the press box with a video camera, just to get away from all the spectators. The next stop was the training facility and the locker room. This was one of the coolest stops for me. I am a huge sports fan and listen to ESPN Radio every morning. I always hear them talk about the ice tubs so seeing them in person was pretty cool. The locker room was a lot bigger than I expected. The lockers just had temporary numbers above them. I assume this is just until the team is completely selected. I took a picture of Ray Rice’s locker. I truly loved the posters that Coach Harbaugh had up throughout the locker room. He always says “Play like a Raven” and this poster truly broke down the meaning of that statement. When you “Play like a Raven” you “Work hard, stay loose, stay focused, hold yourself accountable, and you take care of your teammates”. That last stop was the field. The artificial turf is made of recycled rubber tires and sand. The logos you see on the 50 yard line and in the end zones are just painted on. They can be washed off at any time. If you ever get a chance to tour the stadium, there is so much to see even if you are not a football fan. My husband and I are huge Baltimore Ravens fans so it was a an awesome experience for me.
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