April 21, 2009

N.Y. Jets Set to Train in Cortland Over Summer

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Cornell was a stone’s throw away from hosting the New York Jets for their summer training camp, but officials announced yesterday that the National Football League team chose to spend the summer at SUNY Cortland instead, according to the Associated Press.
Apart from Cornell, Utica College and Marist College in Poughkeepsie were also on the shortlist of possible summer training camp for the football franchise. The team may also plan some public sessions at their Florham Park center in New Jersey and former preseason home on Long Island, the A.P. reported.
“Cortland acted quickly and had all the ingredients to make it really doable here,” Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters at a news conference.
The A.P. also reported that while the training season will kick start on June 6 at the team’s center in New Jersey, the open camp in Cortland will begin on July 31.
Gov. David Paterson (D – N.Y.) said that “Upstate New York will become the capital of professional football during the summer months.” Apart from the Jets, two other teams will also train at colleges nearby. The Bills will train at St. John Fisher College in Rochester and the Giants at SUNY Albany, according to the college’s official website.
SUNY Cortland will receive grants totaling $410,000 to offset the cost of hosting the training camp. Some of these costs include installing air conditioning in the players’ dorm rooms, according to the A.P.
Cortland’s officials were “thrilled” to be selected, reported The Ithaca Journal. According to SUNY Cortland’s website, Paterson announced that the football team would generate much economic activity in Central New York and attract thousands of people to Cortland over the summer.
“Bringing the Jets to Cortland will also generate much needed revenue for Central New York at a time when our State faces an unprecedented fiscal crisis. More economic activity translates into more jobs and more opportunities for the people of this region,” Paterson was quoted saying on SUNY Cortland’s website.
Fans can expect opportunities to stand on the sidelines and watch the team practice, reported The Post-Standard in Syracuse. Matt Higgins, executive vice president of the Jets promised that the NFL players would be available for autograph sessions after practice.
“You’re so up close you occasionally put yourself in harm’s way,” Higgins was quoted saying in The Post-Standard. “That close.”