Giants training camp not coming back to UAlbany next season

Little Giants taking in practice last year at UAlbany.

The Giants announced Friday that they will hold their training camp at their practice facility at the Meadowlands (in New Jersey!) next season -- not at UAlbany. From the announcement:

"The University at Albany and the Capital Region have been great hosts for us during our training camps," Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara and Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch said in a joint statement. "UAlbany truly has been the summer home of the Giants. We are grateful to Mayor Jennings and to [UAlbany athletic director] Dr. [Lee] McElroy and his staff in the athletic department for making us feel welcome and providing the resources we needed to prepare for the season. We are fortunate to have a facility in the Timex Performance Center that allows us to hold training camp here. We have told Mayor Jennings and Dr. McElroy that we will evaluate our training camp situation on an ongoing basis and certainly would not rule out a return to Albany in the future if it makes sense for both parties."

The Giants have trained at UAlbany for 16 of the last 17 seasons. The exception was 2011, which had an usual startup because of a lockout.

Traditionally NFL teams went away for training camp, but in recent years the trend has been to hold the pre-season practices at the team's regular practice facility -- 19 of the league's 32 teams did so last season. The Giants' practice facility at the Meadowlands opened in 2010 and it appears to be rather swank. There's been talk about the team moving training camp there since the facility opened.

It's too bad the Giants won't be coming back. It was fun for football fans, getting the chance to stop into practice and see the players up close.


New Jersey Jiants

It's too bad to see this trend continue throughout the league; the "away-from-home" training camps held a lot of charm, but I'm pretty sure the NFL doesn't consider that anymore in the current culture of the game.

I had the chance years ago to see the 49ers' training camp when they held it almost three hours from San Francisco at a community college. I didn't even like the Niners (we will not discuss my team of choice), but it was a lot of fun and provided a unique perspective on the game for a kid, and a small boon for tourism in an area that normally wouldn't get much of that.

Thats really sad to see, because I was looking forward to taking my son (now barely 2) to see them every year.

It was easy to see it coming and I understand it though. Teams make way too much money when they control it all and there are obviously more people down in NYC/Jersey area than up here.

I'm just surprised the announcement didn't contain the phrase "business decision."

My question is, are the Giants never coming back, or just not coming back for 2013 with the option to come back to Albany in 2014?

A very disappointing decision! As a fan, I can't help but call them out: "New Jersey Giants!!" At the end of the day, this was a business decision for the team's players to enrich themselves on the more profitable NYC metropolitan market, while practicing, rather than a good faith effort to interact with fans across the state. Very, very disappointing!

I'm willing to give the Giants a little more credit. I don't think this was solely a business decision. Mostly, I think it's due to the new rules regarding the number of practices. With so few, the team cannot afford to miss practices due to inclement weather. (Which unfortunately happened during their first trip back to Albany after the new rules were implemented.)

Many Giants, including Eli, commented on how they liked coming to Albany because it was a chance to focus on football and bond with teamates.

I just hope Albany is still considered a home market for some of the non-network games.

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