Oh, where has the time gone? Football season is almost here again.
Just nine days from now, the Ravens report to training camp to gear up for their "Don't call it a Super Bowl defense" season. With Baltimore holding their preseason practices at the Under Armour Performance Center rather than a local college or the like, fans' ability to watch the team gear up for the 2013 campaign will again be limited.
But there will be some opportunities to get close and semi-personal with your favorite football team in the coming months.
The Ravens will hold three off-site practices that will be open to the general public free of charge.
On Sunday, Aug. 4, there will be a 5 p.m. practice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Lots open at 1 p.m. for tailgating and gates open at 3:30 p.m. Parking will cost $10 for cars and $25 for buses, and can be purchased in advance at www.navysports.com.
On Sunday, Aug. 11, there will also be a 5 p.m. practice at M&T Bank Stadium. Again, lots open at 1 p.m. for tailgating and gates open at 3:30 p.m. Parking will cost $10.
And finally, on Sunday, Aug. 18 at Steven University's Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills, the team will have a 5 p.m. practice with gates opening at 3:30 p.m. This time, there's limited seating, so tickets will be required via lottery. Fans can enter for tickets here. Parking will be provided with tickets.
On top of the three public practices, the Ravens can host 200 people at practices on-site at the Under Armour Performance Center. Those fans have been randomly chosen through a drawing to attend one of 13 open training camp sessions.
The first full-team training camp practice is July 25 and the last is Aug. 13.
The Ravens open their preseason schedule on Aug. 8 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and host their first exhibition contest a week later, on Aug. 15 against the Atlanta Falcons. The regular season on Sept. 5 with a primetime rematch at the Denver Broncos with the Ravens' home opener coming on Sept. 15 against the Cleveland Browns.