Professional Basketball Returns to the Baltimore Arena
August 7, 2013
Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Arena/SMG general manager Frank Remesch and the Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of the city of Baltimore, announced today that the Washington Wizards will face the New York Knicks in the inaugural Baltimore Basketball Classic on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. at the Baltimore Arena.
“Baltimore is excited to host the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks for the 50-year anniversary of the Baltimore Bullets. Baltimore has the best sports fans and we are thrilled to have professional basketball return to Baltimore,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Basketball legends that have graced our city like Wes Unseld and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe are a clear testament to the rich history we are so proud of. Now, we are honored to welcome these teams to our city as we continue to make sports history.”
The 2013-14 season will mark the 50th anniversary of the Bullets’ move to Baltimore as well as the 50th anniversary of the Baltimore Arena. The team called Charm City beginning in 1963, playing at the newly-constructed Baltimore Civic Center and featuring future Hall of Famers Walt Bellamy and Gus Johnson. Fellow Hall of Famers Earl Monroe (1967-71), Wes Unseld (1968-73) and Elvin Hayes (1972-73) also were part of the Baltimore franchise before the team relocated to Landover, Md., prior to the 1973-74 season.
“I am incredibly appreciative of Mr. Leonsis and Wizards Senior VP/Chief Marketing Officer Joe Dupriest for recognizing the significance of the Baltimore market and its historical ties to the Washington Wizards,” said Remesch. “As the team and the building both celebrate our golden anniversaries, it is only fitting that the celebration begins here in Baltimore.”
The inaugural Baltimore Basketball Classic will mark the first time the Wizards have returned to Charm City since hosting a preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 23, 1999.
“The city of Baltimore has a storied basketball tradition that includes playing an integral role in the history of our franchise,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “We’re looking forward to bringing the team back in October and getting the opportunity to play in front of our fans in the Baltimore area.”
The game will feature two of the city’s most distinguished former high school players in Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell. Anthony was named Baltimore’s County Player of the Year, All-Metropolitan Player of the Year and Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year as a junior at Towson Catholic in 2001 while Cassell was named Baltimore Player of the Year as a senior at Dunbar in 1988.
Ticket information for the Baltimore Basketball Classic will be released at a later date. Wizards full season ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase seats in advance of tickets going on sale to the general public.
The Baltimore Arena is Baltimore’s largest indoor venue and entertainment facility and has long been considered an anchor that contributed to the growth and prosperity of the city. The arena opened in 1962 and was the cornerstone of the Baltimore Inner Harbor redevelopment. It hosts an average of 130 events per year and more than 800,000 guests come through the turnstiles annually.