With two of our nation’s military academies set to face off on the gridiron at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow afternoon and the president-elect scheduled to pay the city a visit, Baltimore is abuzz with all kinds of feelings.
On one end of that emotional spectrum is a great deal of excitement, buffered by patriotism and appreciation for the return of a time-tested college football matchup to Charm City. In an early showing of support, M&T Bank Stadium shed its normal purple glow last night for red, white and blue lights seen by many passing through the Inner Harbor and South Baltimore or traveling on I-95.
Baltimore is playing host to the annual game between the Naval Academy’s Midshipmen from nearby Annapolis and West Point’s Black Nights. This is the second time in three years that Baltimore has played hosted to the game. If it’s any sign of the matchup’s popularity, the game sold out weeks ago. To make things more interesting, this is the first time that both teams have entered the game with winning records in six years, according to USA Today.
If the event itself wasn’t enough to get people riled up, President-elect Donald Trump is also slated to make an appearance. His team shared earlier this week that, in accordance with presidential tradition, he’ll be sitting on both sides to show support for both academies.
In light of all of this commotion, it’s going to be a busy day downtown. The City’s Department of Transportation has already advised drivers to avoid the area at all costs if possible. The game doesn’t start until 3 p.m., but roads nearby will be shut down for most of the day starting at 8 a.m. Here are the exact roads and closure times:
- Camden Street between Howard and Russell Streets, from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.;
- Eutaw Street between Pratt and Camden Streets, from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.;
- Hamburg Street between Russell and Leadenhall Streets, from hours determined as needed;
- Ostend Street between Warner and Sharp Streets, also between hours determined as needed;
- I-395/Martin Luther King Blvd. Ramp D to westbound Lee Street, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
To add to the chaos, protesters are scheduled to meet up in the Inner Harbor several hours before the game in an effort to send a message to the man elected as their 45th president. Given that this is his first public appearance in Baltimore since September, the many people who did not vote for him – around 85 percent of voters in the city picked Hillary Clinton, per Board of Elections figures – are taking the opportunity to remind him of how they feel.
Regardless of whether you’re an Army or Navy fan or a Trump or anyone-else supporter, one main point to make note of is that traveling downtown tomorrow will be nearly impossible. As the city has noted, residents should plan their days accordingly.
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