Royal Farms Arena – Baltimore Brigade
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Arena Football Gets Another Shot in Baltimore
Royal Farms Arena opened in 1962, and over the years has hosted professional basketball, hockey, soccer, and arena football teams. Their newest and only current occupant is the Baltimore Brigade, an arena football team which was founded in 2017, and currently competes as a member of the Arena Football League (the Washington Valor and the Baltimore Brigade are owned by the same group of people).
Royal Farms Arena is in the same area of the city as the Baltimore Convention Center and the Inner Harbor.
Food & Beverage 3
Royal Farms Arena has a solid selection of food and beverages available from its concessions stands, albeit coming with the high costs consistent with professional sports venues.
Options available from Royal Farms Arena’s fixed stands include typical favorites such as chicken tenders, burgers, pizza, brats, hot dogs, and Italian sausage, with prices ranging from $5 to $11. Side items include popcorn, soft pretzels, chips, and fries ($3 to $8), while dessert items include churros, packaged candy, cotton candy, Dippin’ Dots, and funnel cake ($4 to $6).
Drink options at Royal Farms Arena include bottled water and Pepsi products in bottles or from the fountain, as well as beer, which comes either on draft or in cans, and includes both regular and specialty selections. Beer starts at $9.25, with bottled water costing $4.50 and soda starting at $5 – the $7 32oz. souvenir soda supports the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).
Royal Farms Arena provides a fun atmosphere for the small crowd in attendance, but for sports diehards, may not provide as much energy as you can find at other sports venues in the area, such as M&T Bank Stadium.
The Baltimore Brigade staff does a great job providing entertainment for the fans in attendance, including games for the kids on stage before kickoff, free giveaways, contests during breaks in the action, performances by the cheerleaders, and real fire spurting forth when the players are announced – fans are so close to the action at Royal Farms Arena you can literally feel the heat from the flames on your face and arms.
Despite the high level of entertainment, Royal Farms Arena doesn’t pull much of a crowd – the city of Baltimore has been trying for years to have arena football, so time will tell if the newest iteration can become a success.
Baltimore is a great city, with plenty to do in the area if you are coming for just the day or for a whole weekend (or longer). There are plenty of restaurants near Royal Farms Arena, two of which are 17 Light Restaurant and B & O American Brasserie, both of which are only a couple blocks from the venue.
If you are looking for something to do in town before or after the game, there are too many attractions to name, but some popular choices include the Baltimore Aquarium and the Historic Ships in the Inner Harbor, of which there are many to choose from. There are numerous hotels near Royal Farms Arena, but depending on your preference and budget, you may want to look for something a little further away from downtown.
Royal Farms Arenas holds 16K fans, but draws very few as yet for a typical Baltimore Brigade match-up – however, the team is still relatively new, so time will tell if the team’s popularity grows over time.
It is safe to say that the staff does a great job providing entertainment, so that is a plus, but the costs and hassle of getting here may present barriers for some (more on that in the next section).
Except for the heavy traffic and high cost of parking in Baltimore, getting to Royal Farms Arena is fairly easy, as the facility is within easy walking distance of most of the other major attractions in Baltimore. Unfortunately, there are very few parking spaces at the venue itself (and these seem to be reserved for season ticket holders and other VIPs). That said, most fans park in one of the parking decks nearby, which can cost over $10 per hour, and as much as $30 for the entire stay.
Once you get inside the arena, however, getting around is extraordinarily easy, as the concourse is wide, and there is plenty of room to move around. There are also plenty of bathrooms to accommodate the small crowd, and lines at the concessions are non-existent.
Return on Investment 3
Tickets to Baltimore Brigade games at Royal Farms Arena start at $17, which may seem a little on the high side when you consider how empty the venue is. However, given the high cost of living in a city like Baltimore, and considering how much more you would pay at other professional sports arenas, this could seem like a bargain to some, depending on how big your crowd is.
Be prepared for the high cost of parking, however, and for the relatively high costs of concessions (which cost more than what you would pay at a college sporting event, but are in line with other pro sports arenas).
The activities on hand for the fans are a plus, and it is great to be in a small venue like this where you can get so close to the action. Baltimore is also a great city to visit, so coming to Royal Farms Arena for spring football is a great excuse to make the trip.
Royal Farms Arena is a great facility, and the staff puts in a lot of hard work to create a fun experience. Just don’t expect a huge crowd (which depending on your perspective could be good or bad), and plan ahead if possible to try and minimize the hassles of parking and traffic.
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