July 24, 2012
City to welcome Jets
Team expected to arrive Thursday afternoon
Local officials released details this morning of an event scheduled downtown Thursday afternoon to welcome the New York Jets as they arrive for their annual training camp.
City, county and SUNY Cortland officials met Monday to finalize plans for the event.
The training camp is held at SUNY Cortland. Practices are scheduled to start Friday morning.
Mayor Brian Tobin said the city’s event will be similar to the “welcome party” for training camp in 2010, with music and other activities downtown.
College spokesman Fred Pierce said that between 3 and 3:30 p.m. buses filled with Jets players and personnel will stop at a platform set up on Main Street between Court and Port Watson streets.
Main Street will be closed between Court and Port Watson streets starting at noon, according to Cortland Police. There will be free entertainment starting at 2:30 p.m.
Tobin said the earliest the Jets could get into town is about 3 p.m.
Two years ago, hundreds of people came downtown to watch the team come into the city en route to the SUNY Cortland campus. Two buses with rookie players, coaches and staff stopped on Main Street as they entered the city from Interstate 81.
Pierce said two buses of players will come downtown and one or two will come out and speak to the crowd before the team arrives at SUNY Cortland.
Head Coach Rex Ryan spoke to the crowd during the event two years ago and thanked the fans for supporting the team.
Tobin said Jets camp is a rare opportunity for Cortland to showcase what it has to offer. He said local businesses, the college and the city benefit from the notoriety that comes with holding camp here.
“I think it’s important for the community to embrace people as they come in,” Tobin said. “This is good because it acknowledges the Jets and their program and celebrates the fact they’re coming to town.”
A group of volunteers cleaned up around Main Street on Saturday in preparation for the camp.
The Jets are entering their third year holding camp in Cortland. The team did not have training camp in Cortland last year because the National Football League lockout ended too close to the season opener.
The first public practice will be from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday. That will be the first of 11 dates open to the public before the Jets depart Aug. 16.
For a complete, up-to-date schedule and other information, go to SUNY Cortland’s Web site: www.cortland.edu.
“This is a wonderful agreement for the town and city,” Tobin said.
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