SBD/August 20, 2014/Franchises

Giants Expect Significant Changes For '15 Training Camp To Improve Fan Experience

Some Giants practices could move to MetLife Stadium to improve the experience
The NFL Giants "expect some significant changes for training camp" next year, according to Jordan Raanan of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Among the possibilities include "open practices at MetLife Stadium and improved sightlines and fan interaction when workouts are held at the facility." Giants President & CEO John Mara said, "We have to do a better job of making it more fan-friendly because I don't think we're doing a good enough job. We're trying, but we can do better." The Giants had an "estimated 21,464 fans attend 13 open practices this summer" at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, an "average of 1,651 per practice." The Giants "averaged 33,000 per summer" while training at the Univ. at Albany and were "reaching a different fan base than they are now." The team is "still trying to figure this out." They "know holding camp at home doesn't provide the same intimate setting that fans enjoyed at Albany," as the "makeshift stands at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center are set back and behind a fence." Sightlines are "often difficult, especially when the Giants practice on the field closest to their indoor facility." Mara said that the Giants have "discussed things like having children carry the players' helmets inside after practice." The Giants this year already "added post-practice autograph signings and had entertainment behind the fences, including a balloon-twister on Monday." But Mara "wants more, and for it to be more intimate" (NJ.com, 8/19). 

QUEEN'S FEAST: In Cincinnati, Paul Dehner Jr. noted the Bengals "logged about 37,000 fans" overall for their 16 open training camp practices, which "averages out to 2,313 per practice." That includes the two "Family Day" Saturday practices inside Paul Brown Stadium where they "welcomed in about 15,000 between the two days." It also "includes 7,000 that showed up at West Carrollton High School in Dayton earlier this week." Take those two away and "you have about 15,000 over 13 sessions for an average of 1,150 for every practice on the fields West of PBS." That is "not a bad number and they stayed between 1,000 and 1,500 for about every practice" (CINCINNATI.com, 8/15).

COWBOY UP: In Dallas, Rainer Sabin noted the Cowboys' training camp in Oxnard, Calif., "attracted 50,591 people," which was "down from last year," when it drew 58,522. This year marked the final year of the team's contract with Oxnard, and while an extension "hasn't been finalized," the city and team "are working towards that end" (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/15). 
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