The NFL has decided that Radio City Music Hall is no longer good enough for their brand and they want to bring the show on the road to other NFL cities. While Baltimore isn't openly on the list, there is no reason that it shouldn't be.
As one of the most historic cities the NFL has, Baltimore has been the home of the Baltimore Colts before they were taken away from us in the middle of the night. Football heroes like Johnny Unitas were Baltimore Colts and are the backbone of football history. The Colts were the first team to have cheerleaders and a band and are still in the tradition of trotting out the Ravens band even to this day. The Baltimore Colts' four championships along with the Ravens' two championships give the city a total of 6 trophies, which rival just about any other football city.
When Art Modell came to town and brought the Browns with him to turn them into the Ravens, the Ravens added even more history and tradition to Baltimore. Modell was a leader for football on television and several other noted issues that make modern football what it really is today. Modell being tied to Baltimore in the controversial move will forever keep his legacy in football tied to Baltimore. To add to his already extensive history and accomplishments, Modell then made Ozzie Newsome the first minority general manager. Newsome and the Ravens then proceeded to have one of the best drafts ever in 1996, the team's first year, by drafting both Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis in the first round leading to the team's sure-fire first two Hall of Fame players.
Clearly Baltimore is ripe with team history and with an extensive history in football as a whole.
Baltimore might be better known now for The Wire, crime, drugs and gift cards but Baltimore is a landmark city with it's own serious United States history. As one of the major cities during the American Revolution and as a huge port featuring the B&O Railroad, it became one of the largest Union bases during the Civil War. Baltimore's several aircraft plants and steel mills led Baltimore to be a boom town during Wold War 2 and further enriching the city and was the spot of the nation's first civil rights sit-in. Baltimore also has a major cultural history featuring Edgar Allen Poe, Billie Holliday and Babe Ruth as it's mainstays. Of course, we can't forget Francis Scott Key's 'The Star-Spangled Banner', the National Anthem and it's birthplace of Baltimore.
While the city had started to move from more blue collar work, it is now home to one of the largest percentages of science, health and technology jobs in the United States. Baltimore is the east coast's second largest seaport and the home of Johns Hopkins University and Hospital along with the Naval Academy being right down the road in Annapolis. The Baltimore-Washington area is home to roughly 8.4 million people, all with easy driving access to the city and any major event.
Things to do
As former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue hinted at, Baltimore has plenty of museums and is constantly adding new exhibits and attractions to the city for tourists. The inner harbor is a great spot for anyone from the city or from abroad. Visitors can go check out the B&O Railroad or local architecture. The national aquarium, Maryland Science Center and Maryland Zoo are all great family fun attractions that help make Baltimore a great place to hold a major event like the draft.
As I mentioned earlier, Baltimore is home to many major spots during the American Revolution and Civil War and offer great places to visit to gain some perspective on our Nation's history. A budding art district and festivals are always big for the city. Baltimore is now home to casinos with the Horseshoe Casino opening up on Baltimore's south side and has always been a premier spot for horseracing. Add in the Orioles and their history or the Blast if you are a soccer fan and Baltimore has some of everything anyone could want.
With a downtown area that features several hotels and even more to do right outside of 695, Anyone in Baltimore won't even be able to do everything the city has to offer within their days and evenings here.
While few cities can live up to the hype that New York City offers, Baltimore is often overlooked as a destination when it shouldn't be. Given the city's rich football and national history to go with the city's extensive list of attractions and destinations, Baltimore really is a great spot to hold an event like the draft.