Baseball and Beyond: Baltimore’s Sports Scene
IndyCar racing, lacrosse and thoroughbred racing team up with basketball, baseball and football to make Baltimore the place to be any time of the year.
Baltimore has a vibrant and eclectic sports scene, offering everything from thoroughbred racing and lacrosse to IndyCar racing and a well-established marathon, in addition to such popular staples as Major League Baseball with the Orioles and NFL action with the Ravens.
At the beginning of the year, much of the focus is on big-time Atlantic Coast Conference men’s and women’s basketball at Comcast Center on the campus of the University of Maryland, a half-hour drive south in College Park.
In March, college lacrosse season gets under way, featuring perennial Division I powers Johns Hopkins and Maryland, as well as local rivals Towson, Loyola and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Navy plays its home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, 35 miles south in Annapolis, while Division III standout Stevenson University in Baltimore County also attracts its share of fans.
The Orioles’ season runs from early April to late September and the team plays its home games in a downtown setting at Orioles Park at Camden Yards, considered one of the most beautiful ballparks in baseball.
Late April means it’s time for the Maryland Hunt Cup, the prestigious steeplechase race that takes place over a four-mile, 22-fence course in nearby Worthington Valley. The race dates back to an 1894 challenge between two fox hunting clubs, and as many as 4,000 fans are generally on hand to picnic and tailgate on a hill overlooking the course.
September marks the start of football season for the Ravens, who play in the AFC North division and have gone to the playoffs three years in a row while playing their home games at 71,000-seat M&T Bank Stadium. If it’s big-time college football you crave, the Maryland Terps play at Capitol One Field at Byrd Stadium in College Park and Navy plays its home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Also taking place early in September is the Baltimore Grand Prix, which features IndyCar drivers reaching speeds of over 200 mph as their cars scream around a 2-mile temporary course in the heart of Baltimore, hard by the Inner Harbor and Camden Yards.
The middle of October brings the Baltimore Marathon, part of the Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival, which includes a 5K, half-marathon, team relay and kids run. The 26.2-mile marathon course winds through many of Baltimore’s most scenic neighbourhoods, including the gleaming Inner Harbor and historic Federal Hill and Fells Point.