SCHUMER CALLS ON NY JETS TO KEEP TRAINING CAMP AT SUNY CORTLAND; FUTURE OF JETS’ ANNUAL RESIDENCY UNCERTAIN DUE TO COACHING CHANGE – TRAINING CAMP IN CORTLAND VITAL FOR CNY ECONOMY & IMPORTANT SUMMER ATTRACTION FOR LOCAL FOOTBALL FANS
New York Jets Have Come to Cortland Every Summer Since 2009 for Three-Week Training Camp, But There Is No Agreement In Place to Hold Camp at SUNY Next Year – With Recent Coaching & Management Changes, Jets Future in CNY Uncertain
Schumer Calls on Jets to Keep Training Camp in Cortland; Last Time Jets Moved Training Camp, Team Considered Moving it to New Jersey – Training Camp at SUNY Cortland Provides A Real Shot in the Arm to The Local Economy; Attracted 22K Fans Last Year & Has Brought In $24M in Local Economic Activity
Schumer: Jets Should S-T-A-Y STAY STAY STAY in CNY
Today, at the Ensley Athletic Center at Syracuse University, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the New York Jets to keep their summer training camp at SUNY Cortland. Schumer’s call comes in light of the fact that there is no agreement in place between the Jets and SUNY Cortland for the team to host training camp at the university this summer, something the Jets have done each year since 2009. Coupled with recent changes to the Jets’ coaching staff and management, the future of Jets’ training camp in Central New York is uncertain. Schumer said that the annual, three-week training camp is a tremendous boon to the local economy – bringing in close to $5 million each year – and an important attraction for local football fans, 22,000 of whom attended last year. Schumer noted that the SUNY System spent almost $500,000 last year to accommodate the Jets and the State invested over $500,000 back in 2010 to upgrade the SUNY Cortland facilities to NFL standards. Schumer noted that, in previous years, the idea of moving Jets training camp to New Jersey has been floated, and Schumer said that any move away from SUNY Cortland is unacceptable.
Schumer announced that he called Jets Owner Woody Johnson to push him to keep training camp in Cortland, and Johnson said that no decision had been made. Johnson indicated that nothing would be decided until the Jets hire both a new Head Coach and General Manager, which is expected to happen within the next few weeks.
“The Jets’ annual summer training camp at SUNY Cortland provides a real shot in the arm to the local economy and gives local football fans an opportunity to see their favorite players in person. Visitors come from all over the state, country and world to see the Jets practice at Cortland, and while they are here, they spend money in local hotels, restaurants and stores,” said Schumer. “If the Jets were to move their training camp away from Cortland, it would be a real loss for football fans around the region and for the Central New York economy. A move elsewhere is simply unacceptable. So I am calling on the Jets to ‘S-T-A-Y Stay Stay Stay’ in Cortland. Jets training camp provides Cortland with national exposure and the SUNY Cortland community with innumerable benefits, and I will do whatever it takes to keep the Jets’ training camp in Central New York, where it belongs.”
Schumer explained that the New York Jets have come to SUNY Cortland every summer since 2009 for their annual, three-week training camp. During this camp, the NFL players are housed at SUNY Cortland’s facilities and play at the school’s Stadium Complex. The team began going to SUNY Cortland for its training session starting in 2009 when then-new coach Rex Ryan moved the camp from Hofstra University on Long Island. Since 2009, the Cortland County and Central New York economies have benefited significantly from the team’s presence in the region during training camp.
According to a report prepared by two SUNY Cortland professors, since 2009, more than 150,000 visitors have attended the practices. This has generated nearly $24 million in economic activity for the county and region, roughly $5 million per year. According to the study, in 2014, the Jets training camp drew more than 22,000 fans and generated more than $4.6 million in economic revenue for Central New York. The report found that visitors to training camp came from 57 of the state's 62 counties. Most visitors come from Cortland and nearby counties – Onondaga, Oneida, Tomkins, Broome – but fans come from all over the state to attend. In addition, this past year’s training camp actually attracted visitors from 34 different states and 4 different countries. The report was prepared by SUNY Cortland economics professor Kathleen Burke and associate geography professor Wendy Miller, and based on a survey of 9,291 people.
Schumer said that training camp provides a real boon to the local economy because visitors spend money locally in Cortland County; this provides a huge economic boost to local businesses, particularly hotels and restaurants. In addition, Schumer said, training camp provides Cortland with critical national exposure and leads to innumerable benefits for the school and its students, including internship opportunities with the Jets, new ways to engage the alumni base and increase fundraising, and enhanced marketing opportunities.
However, despite all of the benefits of training camp in Cortland, there is no contract or agreement in place between the Jets and SUNY Cortland this year due to recent changes in the Jets coaching staff. Schumer said this training camp provides a huge boost to Central New York each year and should be kept at SUNY Cortland in 2015 and beyond. Schumer is urging the New York Jets to keep the team’s annual residency at SUNY Cortland. In addition to providing an immense economic boost to Cortland County and Central New York, Schumer said, New York State has invested close to $600,000 to provide the team with the best facilities possible. And in 2014, the SUNY System spent nearly $500,000 to accommodate the team on its Cortland campus.
Finally, Schumer noted that, in previous years, the idea of moving Jets training camp to the Jets’ practice facility in Florham Park, New Jersey has been discussed. Schumer said that a move to New Jersey or anywhere else besides Cortland is unacceptable. He is pushing to keep the team’s training camp in Central New York because any move away from SUNY would be a major loss for both local fans and the Cortland County economy.
Schumer was joined by SUNY Cortland president Dr. Erik Bitterbaum and City of Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin.
“SUNY Cortland takes great pride in hosting the New York Jets training camp, which has had a tremendous positive impact on the community. Since 2009, our college has worked hand-in-glove with so many partners, helping to make each year better than the last. Throughout, Senator Schumer has been a key partner and tireless advocate. We deeply appreciate his efforts on behalf of Cortland and Central New York,” said SUNY Cortland President Dr. Erik Bitterbaum.
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