Bisciotti: Ravens will keep camping in Westminster

OWINGS MILLS – Steve Bisciotti grew up attending the Baltimore Colts' training camps in Westminster.<br><br> Now that he's poised to become the Baltimore Ravens' majority owner as a lot of paperwork is being finalized, Bisciotti indicated that the tradition of professional football in the summer at McDaniel College will continue.<br>

With a three-year contract with the private, liberal arts school set to expire following this summer's camp, Ravens director of operations Bob Eller confirmed that the team has begun discussions with the college for another long-term pact. 

The Ravens are entering their ninth summer in Carroll County, a stint that began in 1996 after outgoing owner Art Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Maryland.

"Absolutely, I love it," Bisciotti said last week at the owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., when asked if the team will remain in Westminster even though it's building an expanded training complex in Owings Mills. "No. 1, they've shortened the training camp over the years to three weeks. No. 2, they have a nice hotel there for us to use, which is owned by the college and is much better than dorm rooms without air conditioners."

"I still love driving out there in that environment. It would be prohibitive for us to build a new training facility capable of handling 2,000 guests and 90 players in the locker room. We didn't do that for the future with the mindset that we would eventually pull that back to Owings Mills. I want to be in Westminster forever, and I think all of our staff is very good with that."

Following the Ravens' victory in Super Bowl XXXV, roughly 110,000 fans attended the 2001 training camp with an estimated economic impact of more than $1 million to the area.

A Severna Park graduate who now lives in Millersville, Bisciotti has fond memories of traveling to Westminster as a child to watch the Colts practice. Bisciotti is completing a $600 million sale from Modell after four years as minority owner.

"I remember it vividly, the waffle ice cream sandwiches my father used to buy us and the lemonade," Bisciotti said. "I have pictures of my brother and sister and I sitting on Jim Parker's lap. My dad had a Polaroid camera and we used to get eight pictures a roll.

"We would come up with a strategy for what Colts' pictures we would get. We cut off Raymond Berry's head in one of the pictures and couldn't get another one because we still hadn't gotten Tom Matte. It was a great thrill to have my picture taken with me wearing Johnny Unitas' helmet."

NOTE: The Ravens didn't attend Ohio State sophomore running back Maurice Clarett's campus workout, but do plan to check out USC sophomore wide receiver Mike Williams on Thursday in Tampa.


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