Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Stony Brook wants the Jets
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- When the Jets moved to Florham Park, N.J., in 2008, leaving their Hempstead, L.I., home after four decades, they decided to throw a bone to their Long Island fan base by holding a training-camp practice at their old stomping grounds, Hofstra. It was a good PR move.
But they haven't been back since 2010, cancelling last year because of threatening weather (turned out to be a nice night) and switching this summer's event (Aug. 21) to MetLife Stadium because the Hofstra stadium is being used to prep for the Presidential debate. That was announced last week.
Once again, the Long Island fans lose out. But it didn't have to be that way.
Stony Brook University is willing to host the Aug. 21 practice, athletic director Jim Fiore said Tuesday in a phone interview. Fiore said he reached out to the Jets, hoping they'd consider his offer.
"I'm disappointed for the people of Long Island -- and there are a lot of Jets fans on Long Island," Fiore said. "We'd love to have the Jets."
Fiore said he'd be willing to waive the rental fee for use of the stadium. The Jets would be responsible for some small security costs, but that's it.
In 2009, Stony Brook made a bid to host training camp, losing out to Cortland State. Since then, Stony Brook has upgraded its facilities and it's planning to make another run at the Jets when the contract with Cortland expires after the 2013 camp.
For now, Stony Brook would be thrilled with the one-night appearance next month.
"Given the logistics and timing, we felt holding this year's practice at MetLife Stadium was the best option," a team spokesman said.
There would've been challenges in terms of the planning, with only a month to do it. It's just tough to swallow for the Long Island fans who have only one chance to see their favorite team.