Snowstorm prompts kickoff time change

OWINGS MILLS – Due to the major snowstorm expected to blanket the area today, the Baltimore Ravens announced that Sunday's kickoff time against the Chicago Bears has been shifted to 4:15 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore City officials recommended to the Ravens and the NFL that the original game time of 1 p.m. be changed due to safety reasons.

"This gives the city more time to clear the streets and other passageways around the stadium," Ravens team president Dick Cass said. "It also gives us more time to clear the stadium of snow."

Plus, there will be 700 workers deployed at the stadium Friday night and Saturday to clear the snow. They'll be housed on the stadium club levels.

The stadium lots will be open at 11 a.m. Sunday with the stadium gates open at 2:45 p.m. The game will still be televised on FOX.

The Ravens are scheduled to conduct their last practice of the week today regardless of the snow accumulation.

"We have practice," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I told the guys to make sure they get their driveways cleared. Drive the truck if you've got one and start early because we'll be working."

In a nod to the weather, the Bears flew in Friday night to make sure they made it to town on time just in case the airports are closed Saturday. The Ravens practiced in their indoor facility Friday rather than go outside.

"We turned the heat off," Harbaugh said. "The bottom line is we're playing on turf and we want to get our timing down on turf. So, that's the issue."

The players didn't seem concerned about the snow. "I was born in a blizzard," running back Ray Rice said. "Bring it on. We'll play in any kind of weather. It doesn't matter."

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