The New York Jets are a month away from 2012 training camp at SUNY Cortland. Local fans and businesses are excited about the camp and about the team's biggest off-season acquisition: quarterback Tim Tebow. As our Brad Vivacqua tells us, the Jets' three week stay will likely have a substantial economic impact once again.
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- In just about a month, the city of Cortland will again be the home of the Jets.
"It picks up tremendously. The whole town goes crazy for the Jets," said Cortland resident Mary Phelps.
The three week training camp will begin July 26th. Dougs Fish Fry owner Mark Braun is excited.
"What's nice is a lot of people have come here to look at the pictures and the signatures, and the memorabilia that we have around so, I can only expect that it can be greater than twenty five percent increase in sales, " said Doug's Fish Fry Owner Mark Braun.
Braun isn't just excited about sales. He's a die-hard Jets fan of more than 30 years.
The last time camp came to town, Braun catered to many of the players who signed autographs and took pictures.
"When we talked two years ago, when you came down here, and I said all my plans and my goals to meet the players and to get to know the Jets and stuff. And, for that all to come true, it's just overwhelming," Braun said.
The last time the Jets visited SUNY Cortland in 2010 for training camp, more than 41,000 people visited campus for the three week camp. That boosted the regional economy by about $5.8 million.
This time around, the economic benefits may be even greater because of one thing.
"Tebowmania? Yes, probably," said Phelps.
High profile quarterback Tim Tebow is the Jets newest and most popular attraction right now.
"99 percent chance everyone's going to show up because it's Tebow and who knows where he's really going to play in the season, but he'll do great. And, everyone will have that Tebowmania T-shirt," said Phelps.
And speaking of those T-shirts, they're already for sale at one Main Street business. Most are looking forward to meeting Tebow.
"I think there are a lot of just Tim Tebow fans, and I think we're going to benefit from that," said Braun.
Jets training camp was not held in Cortland last year because of the N.F.L. lockout. While this year's camp is scheduled to begin July 26th, it will open to the public July 28th.