State and city officials met with the media yesterday to give their final warning to Ravens fans going to tomorrow's exhibition game: Don't be a football fan and drive.
"People will be driving around Memorial Stadium in bigger and bigger circles until they find a parking place 27 blocks away," said Bruce H. Hoffman, executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority. "If everybody drove to Saturday's game, we would generate as many as 23,000 carloads of people."
The game, which marks the return of the National Football League to Baltimore, is expected to draw Memorial Stadium's biggest crowd ever. Nearly all of the 65,000 tickets have been sold.
The Mass Transit Administration is hoping to bring as many as 20,000 fans to the game via public transportation, including 300 buses that will pick up fans throughout the metropolitan area.
About 10,000 parking spaces will be available at MTA park-and-ride sites, transportation officials said. The stadium lot can accommodate about 5,000 cars.
But there could be problems if too many people decide to take their cars, Ravens Vice President David Modell said.
"Don't think you're going to leave your house 45 minutes before kickoff and soon cozy up to a parking space. That's just not going to be the case," Modell said.
State officials say the parking situation around the stadium has changed. Some nearby residents have acquired second cars since the Orioles moved to Camden Yards after the 1991 season. The result is fewer parking spaces.
Another problem is that there will be fewer buses chartered by restaurants and bars than there were when the Baltimore Colts played at Memorial Stadium.
All express buses to Memorial Stadium will begin leaving park-and-ride lots three hours before game time. The buses will depart about 20 minutes after the game.
For more MTA information, call 539-5000 or (800) 543-9809.
Pub Date: 8/02/96