On Ravens Walk, before the Miami game
Ravens Walk, located on the walkway between Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium is intended to give a tailgating experience for fans who aren't tailgating. That would be the thousands who are arriving on foot or by rail, from their homes and from the nearby hotels.
There were Dolphins fans in evidence but no one cared about them.
The corporate presence at Ravens Walk is inescapable, but no one seems to mind that either. People have grown used to it. Keeping it mostly local is a good idea, though. Giant, the official sponsor of Ravens tailgating, was sampling Premo Italian sausage. Rise and Conquer, the ravens from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, were being introduced to fans today. The biggest line was forming at the Maryland Lottery booth.
Ravens Walk opens officially three hours before the game. The day's best deal comes early -- two-for-one drinks until 11 a.m. I liked the Bloody Mary bar at Pickles, which holds about a dozen brands each of Bloody Mary mixes and hot sauces. A marching band marched though Ravens Walk sometime around 11:15 a.m., but by noon, the promenade is jammed, and festive. On a stage, a band plays "Jenny/837-5609" -- at least once.
Bordering Ravens Walk is Lot C --a prime location. There was a tailgating scene here, but it didn't look like a millionth as much fun as the one on Lots G and H, where I visited before the Buffalo game, and where people were genuinely enjoying themselves. Lot C is where Molly Ringwald would be taken by Andrew McCarthy for the purpose of hurting her feelings.