For Maryland, it's a matter of revitalizing and expanding a fan base that has perhaps grown weary of the program after several years of mediocrity.
"We're trying to continue to develop the Maryland pride,'' Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. "With the city being as large as it is, and also having that venue, M&T Bank Stadium there in Baltimore, when you do have the opportunity being that we're the flagship university here in the state and we're the only state school that's an FBS, it's something that I think is important to us.
"It's accessible. It's easy to get to. And again when you're talking about the fan support in this state for football, there are a lot of football fans. And so, the more that we can do to develop that Maryland pride, get the people from Baltimore, Baltimore County and the surrounding counties to be involved with what we're doing, I think it's a win for us.''
Playing in Baltimore also gives both teams a chance to go into the heart of a recruiting area valuable to both. Obviously Maryland draws players from Baltimore, but the area has become huge to West Virginia recruiting, too. Tavon Austin came from Baltimore, as did Terence Garvin. The Mountaineers' top-rated commitment for the 2014 recruiting class, quarterback William Crest, plays at Austin's old high school, Dunbar.
It's also convenient. Baltimore is 31/2 hours from Morgantown and just a short drive from the Eastern Panhandle. The closest other road games on this year's schedule are Kansas and Kansas State.
"It's important to our administration, it's important to our fan base and it's important to our kids,'' Holgorsen said. "It's important to recruiting.
"And our guys get kind of jacked up about that because it's a big stage.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.