M&T Bank Stadium

Capacity71 000
Country United States of America
ClubsBaltimore Ravens
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost$430 M
Design Gensler
Contractor Gilbane Building Company


M&T Bank Stadium – design description

How did the plans to upgrade M&T Bank Stadium come about?

When was M&T Bank Stadium created?

In 1996, the NFL league saw the relocation of the Cleveland Browns team to Baltimore, where a new team, the Baltimore Ravens, was established on the basis of the Browns (the Browns were reconstituted in Cleveland in 1999, so actually in this case the league was expanded with an additional team).

As the new team was established in Baltimore, a new stadium was built specially for the Ravens near downtown, which opened in 1998 (it is known as M&T Bank Stadium since 2003).

The stadium was built with money from the state of Maryland (it cost $220 million to build at the time). The facility is managed by the Maryland Stadium Authority, and the Ravens lease it on quite favorable terms (the team only covers the ongoing maintenance costs, without having to pay rent or property taxes).

What upgrade work has been carried out at M&T Bank Stadium to date?

Since 1998, the Ravens have, on their own initiative, invested $250 million to improve the facility's infrastructure. The largest renovations (at a cost of $120 million) took place between 2017 and 2019, when, among other things, new high-definition, wide video screens were installed. Since its inception, however, the stadium has not undergone any fundamental changes.

When did planning for a new upgrade of M&T Bank Stadium begin?

The facility's lease, signed in 1997, ran until 2027. As early as the summer of 2021, the Ravens and the Maryland Stadium Authority began discussing an extension. Negotiations about possible investment in the stadium were also in the background.

What does M&T Bank Stadium upgrade have to do with the nearby baseball stadium?

At the same time, the lease of the nearby baseball stadium, Oriole Park, by the MLB league participant Baltimore Orioles was also coming to an end. The Orioles, like the Ravens, leased their facility from the Maryland Stadium Authority.

In an effort to dissuade Baltimore's two top sports teams, the Ravens (NFL) and Orioles (MLB), from looking elsewhere and to persuade them to remain in their current venues, on April 12, 2022, the Maryland General Assembly approved $1.2 billion in financing in the form of a loan to upgrade the Ravens and Orioles stadiums.

The money was to come from state bonds, with a maximum of $600 million available to each team. The release of the funds to a given team was contingent on signing an agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority for a long-term extension of the stadium lease.

When did work begin on M&T Bank Stadium upgrade project?

On January 4, 2023, the Ravens reached an agreement to extend the stadium lease, which was now set to run until 2037 with an option to extend for two further five-year periods (up to 2047). With the agreement, the Ravens were able to start thinking about using state bonds. The team had initially indicated that it would not want to use all of the funds, with the amount it needed being around $450 million.

After extending the stadium lease, the Ravens also reached an agreement with M&T Bank on April 20, 2023, extending the term of the stadium naming rights agreement by 10 years, to 2037.

Also in April 2023, the Maryland Stadium Authority selected Gensler as the contractor for the design work for the planned upgrades at M&T Bank Stadium. Earlier in 2021, another well-known architectural company, Populous, was consulted on possible upgrades.

When were plans to upgrade M&T Bank Stadium presented?

On December 12, 2023, the Baltimore Ravens unveiled plans and renderings for planned renovations at M&T Bank Stadium. The upgrades are expected to cost $430 million and will be spread over 2024–2026. Soon after the renderings were made public, it was also announced that Gilbane Building Company, the same that was responsible for the 2017–2019 renovations at M&T Bank Stadium, would be the main contractor for the work.

At the end of 2023, a final agreement was also reached between the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Baltimore Orioles, who extended the Oriole Park lease for another 30 years, so that the nearby baseball stadium will also undergo renovations thanks to state bond money.

What do the plans for upgrading M&T Bank Stadium include?

Modernisation work at M&T Bank Stadium is to be carried out in a number of areas. Significant changes will take place on the outside of the facility, as well as in the premises underneath the stands. Although the investment will consume a significant amount of money and will be the largest in the stadium's history, the interventions will not significantly change the character of the stadium or its capacity, which is around 71,000 spectators.

The upgrade is intended to improve the visitor comfort and matchday experience, enhance the facility's offer and commercial opportunities, as well as to modernize the stadium, improve aesthetics and ensure that for years to come the venue will be a high-class sports arena, suitable for hosting NFL games and other major sporting and cultural events.

Could the upgrade of M&T Bank Stadium have been on a larger scale?

During the planning of the project, the possibility of roofing the stands was considered, but it became clear that the cost of doing so would be too high. The Ravens intend to use $430 million of the $600 million available from state bonds, but do not rule out using the remaining $170 million in the future, for further renovations.

The investment in M&T Bank Stadium is not part of the trend of building new, very expensive and ultra-modern stadiums seen in the NFL in recent years (e.g. the new SoFi Stadium or Allegiant Stadium, as well as plans for a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills).

Recent experience shows that the construction of a new stadium would require an investment of around $2 billion. Baltimore has so far opted not to make such a huge investment, believing that the 1998 facility is sufficient for their needs and, once upgraded, will be able to serve for many more years to come.

What are the details of the plans to upgrade M&T Bank Stadium?

The upgrade of M&T Bank Stadium will consist of nine different projects. Externally, these will affect the north side of the stadium (North Plaza), the east side (The Gatehouse) and the south side (South Plaza). An additional infringement pertains to the enlargement of the top concourse (Upper Concourse), which will become an attractive platform with catering and views of Baltimore.

The North Plaza will be one of the largest projects undertaken as part of the redevelopment. It includes the creation of the stadium's main entrance on the north side and the construction of two buildings on its sides adjacent to the north stand. Among other things, the North Plaza will include a venue for meetings and concerts, as well as an exhibition of various artifacts and memorabilia related to Ravens history.

Work inside the stadium will focus on creating new bars and pubs, suites and hospitality areas. This will include the North Club on the north side, the South Club and The Blackwing on the south side and the West End Zone Club and West End Zone Suites to the west.

The new facilities in the south stand will be among the most exclusive. The Blackwing will offer 10 private suites, while visitors to the South Club will have a glimpse of the players' tunnel and conference room. New suites will also be created in the west stand (West End Zone Suites), where users will have access to seats located directly behind the west end zone.

How will M&T Bank Stadium upgrade be implemented?

The Gatehouse and The Blackwing projects are expected to be completed before the start of the 2024 season. The largest number of projects are expected to be ready for the 2025 season (North Plaza, Upper Concourse, North Club, South Club, West End Zone Club and West End Zone Suites). The South Plaza project will be the last to be completed, in 2026. The renovation work will not interfere with Baltimore Ravens games.



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