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Cortland/Ithaca

Businesses Excited for Start of New York Jets Training Camp

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Businesses Excited for Start of New York Jets Training Camp
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Downtown Cortland is decked out in green, ready to welcome their adopted football team. The New York Jets and their fans will descend on the city Wednesday afternoon.

Even drivers on a quick trip through downtown Cortland can't mistake it's that time of year.

"When you drive around you can see many business owners with signs up welcoming not only the Jets here to town, but the fans as well. We're looking forward to those tens of thousands of people that are going to be coming into Cortland over the next three weeks," said Bob Haight, the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce executive director.

The New York Jets are set to begin their fifth training camp at SUNY Cortland this week, and business owners are rolling out the green carpet.

"It's a very unique thing and there's not a lot of towns that have the privilege of having something like this in town, so take advantage of it," said Jodie Wainwright, the owner of The Bling Store.

The three weeks of open practices bring in fans from near and far, drawing more than 20,000 visitors to SUNY Cortland in 2013.

"Oh it's huge. What happens is the restaurants, hotels, gas stations, a few golf courses, they're going to have direct benefit. But the more money that comes into town from out of town, that money gets turned over multiple times within our community. And a small community like ours, especially downtown because you look at our restaurants and they're all owned by local people, they're going to continue to spend that money locally," said Haight.

"We see a big excitement in town. And that creates some excitement for other people to come in. They just want to be downtown. Even the regulars want to come downtown and see if they can catch an eye of what's going on down here," said Wainwright.

And for many, the return of the Gang Green is more than just good business.

"If anybody had told me when I was a kid growing up as a Jets fan that at some point they'd be pulling in across the street from me, I would never have believed it," said Wainwright.

It all starts with the big celebration downtown Cortland, and then training camp runs for three weeks, with open practices almost every day. So there are plenty of opportunities to get down here and check out the action.

Check out the schedule and ticket information on the SUNY Cortland website's Jets Training Camp page.

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