Ravens enthused about new headquarters

OWINGS MILLS - An unfinished football palace is almost ready for business at 1 Winning Drive.<br><br> The Baltimore Ravens held their first training camp practice at their new 200,000 square-foot practice facility Friday morning. The training complex is still under construction and the team will officially move there from the antiquated old Colts' complex on Oct. 15 during the bye week.<br><br>

Kevin Byrne, the Ravens' senior vice president of public relations, said the team's new headquarters features the largest weight room in the NFL.

The training complex also includes a spacious indoor practice field, four outdoor fields, glass racquetball courts, an NBA-size, half-court basketball court, a players' lounge and a full cafeteria and kitchen.

The indoor fieldhouse stands 72 feet high and contains the same Sportexe artificial turf as M&T Bank Stadium. The ceiling wasn't quite high enough to prevent punter Dave Zastudil from clanging the rafters with his first punt.

The building appears somewhat futuristic with windows near the roof, making it appear as if it is about to take off or is floating through the sky as clouds rush by the windows.

"I loved it," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It was big, and the field turf was nice."

Ravens coach Brian Billick said the indoor field is a great option for whenever inclement weather makes it difficult to practice outside.

"There's not going to be another facility that can touch it in the league," Billick said. "Everything from the indoor facility to four outdoor fields. You can imagine the kind of computer setup that we're going to have.

"The fact that [the media is] in a totally different building, and it's just a beautiful design and the way it's going to be inside. It's just going to have a very first-class feel to it across the board, something the players are going to be appreciative of."

Fullback Alan Ricard was floored when he heard what amenities will highlight the new training complex.

"It looks like they're building something real amazing, and I can't wait to see the inside of the complex," Ricard said. "I'm getting rid of my apartment. I'm going to go stay over there."


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