Baltimore Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said last week that he would be open to an opportunity for the Ravens to play in London, England. How did this discussion all start? Well, last week the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league has expressed interest in expanding the game to China.
"I'm personally partial to London," Bisciotti noted in an interview last week via BaltimoreRavens.com."But no, I don't want to pack up and move to China for a week. I think we should take baby steps after London."
I agree with Bisciotti in regard to the Ravens pumping the breaks a bit on traveling to China to play a game. I disagree on the idea of the Ravens traveling to play in London. Bisciotti is also right in saying that the Ravens won't give up a home game as BaltimoreRavens.com Writer/Editor Sarah Ellison explained below.
Bisciotti has been on record for several years saying he would like to play across the pond, but the Ravens would have to be considered the visitor. The lease agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority prohibits playing home games away from M&T Bank Stadium.
For advice to the Ravens, don't give the NFL any ideas. The league has somewhat avoided calling the Ravens to play in London for quite some time. For the Ravens, that is a blessing in disguise.
Having the Ravens travel thousands of miles away to a another continent is what I would call a competitive disadvantage. The Ravens in that scenario would most likely be playing the week before with a bye week set up after the Ravens get back home from London.
In a physical division like the AFC North, where the competition between the Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals has been a tight race over the last several years, it would be best to keep the Ravens rested as much as possible. If the Ravens were playing in a weaker division like the AFC South or the NFC East for example, the team could take that chance. But as things stand right now within the AFC North, the Ravens would putting itself in a position that it doesn't need to be in.