NEW YORK, March 22 (UPI) -- The NFL announced Friday the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens would have to open the season on the road.
It has become a tradition that the Super Bowl titleholder hosts the first game of the following season on a Thursday night, but logistical problems involving the Ravens and baseball's Baltimore Orioles will prevent that from happening this year.
The Orioles are scheduled to play a home game against the Chicago White Sox with a 7:05 p.m. ET starting time on the night the Ravens had hoped to host the NFL opener.
Orioles officials told the NFL the starting time could not be changed and because the baseball and football stadiums are next to each other it would have created a traffic nightmare to open both arenas at the same time.
"While we are disappointed for the fans in Baltimore, we appreciate the efforts of the Ravens, Orioles and Major League Baseball and understand the logistical problems in trying to schedule the teams on the same day," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.
"The Ravens will open the season on the road on Thursday night, Sept. 5. We are exploring potential fan activities in Baltimore around the kickoff game, including a pre-game concert."