Charm City gets ready for football season

A barge carrying the NFL Kickoff stage moves past the National Aquarium. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

BALTIMORE — As the sun rose over the Inner Harbor, Charm City got a taste of its status as the home of the defending NFL Super Bowl champions.

A red and white tug boat delivered a 60-by-90 floating barge bearing the NFL Kickoff concert stage.

Replete with scaffolding, lighting, and roof, the stage is being anchored in front of the Maryland Science Center for a Thursday, Sept. 5th celebration, featuring country artist Keith Urban, marking the start of the 2013 NFL season.

To honor the champion Baltimore Ravens, the NFL is setting up what it calls the NFL Kickoff Village at McKeldin Square and the Harborplace Amphitheater. The league says NFL legends will be on hand all day Wednesday and Thursday to sign autographs for fans.

Unfortunately, the Ravens will be conspicuously absent for the festivities. They’re opening their season Thursday night in Denver against the Broncos.

But Ravens fans are cranked up and ready.

“I know that we have a good team

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