SBD/July 29, 2013/Facilities

Fans Mostly Pleased With Redskins' Richmond Facility, But Parking Issues Remain

Richmond will pay a $500,000 annual contribution to the Redskins
The Redskins' new Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond is "getting mostly positive reviews from those who see it as a boon to the city," according to Louis Llovio of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH. But while the "majority of fans and businesses seem to have positive things to say, others say parking is an issue, customers aren’t showing up and that a major walkway, which is many visitors’ introduction to Richmond, is strewn with garbage." The walkway to the Redskins' facility from a parking area at the minor league ballpark in Richmond was "littered with beer bottles, cigarette packs and a nearly footlong strip of faded police tape." But many of the fans who expressed dissatisfaction said that they "are willing to give the city and the Redskins the benefit of the doubt and a second chance." Redskins fan Amen Haddis was among those who said that the walk from the parking area was "too long and the garbage surprising." He added that the facility "needs to improve sight lines for fans and should consider bringing in bleachers or some sort of seating." Llovio wrote the Redskins training camp is a "big deal for the city of Richmond," which built the facility. Its costs will "include a $500,000 annual 'local contribution' from the city to the Redskins under the agreement between the team and the Richmond Economic Development Authority, which will settle up with the franchise every December as part of the eight-year training camp deal." The city last year estimated that the facility would "bring 100,000 visitors a year," and 10,100 fans "showed up" when Redskins camp opened on Thursday. The team said that 15,124 "attended Saturday -- 3,955 for the morning session and 11,169 in the afternoon" (TIMESDISPATCH.com, 7/27).

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: In New Jersey, J.P. Pelzman notes the NFL Jets, instead of "taking advantage of all the amenities they have at their state-of-the-art" Atlantic Health Training Center are "at a Division III university for nearly three weeks as they prepare for the 2013 season." While SUNY-Cortland and the city of Cortland, N.Y., "have been fine and gracious hosts," it is "time for the Jets to go back home, where more of their metro New Jersey/New York fan base can see them in person, and where they can take advantage of better facilities for learning the playbooks and rehabbing injuries." When the Jets built their Training Facility in '08, the "plan was to hold not only their in-season practices there but training camp as well." But "that plan changed" when Rex Ryan was named coach in '09, as he "envisioned getting away from it all in a place where his team could bond
and establish camaraderie without any distractions. - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/217336331_Pelzman__It_s_time_for_the_Jets_to_camp_at_home.html#sthash.ZxeQgO9k.dpuf
and establish camaraderie without any distractions." The contract with SUNY-Cortland "expires after this camp, and hasn’t been re-upped" (Bergen RECORD, 7/29).
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