The moment everybody knew was coming has finally happened. You may now make your travel plans for the summer.
The Giants completed today a deal with the University at Albany to conduct their training camp up there this year, with two option years through 2012. In other words, it's a better-than-good bet that the Giants will continue training in Albany for the next three summers.
Workouts will start on Sunday, August 1 with a single afternoon practice at 3:15 p.m. The three-week camp concludes on August 20. Giants training camp will feature five evening practices. The first night practice is slated for Thursday, Aug. 5, at 6:05 p.m. All five sessions are preceded by a morning workout at 8:35 a.m. The other day-night workouts are scheduled for August 7, 9, 11 and 13.
The Giants will not practice on the days following preseason games. On the day before a preseason game, the team will hold a one-hour jog-thru session. The Giants will practice 16 days on campus, including seven double sessions.
The entire schedule for their 15th summer in Albany, the longest stretch for any one training camp location in team history, can be accessed through www.giants.com or www.ualbanysports.com.
"Albany has been an ideal summer home for our football team," said Giants president John Mara. "With the support of President Philip and his predecessors and Mayor Jennings and the rest of the staff at the university, in addition to the great facilities, we have felt for 15 years that starting our season in Albany gives us the best chance to succeed each season."
Tom Coughlin has long felt that going away to Albany helped team bonding, a view he maintained even after the opening of the state-of-the-art Timex Performance Center training facility that stands in the shadow of the new Meadowlands Stadium.
"I can’t say enough about the cooperation we receive from the university and its staff," Coughlin said. "The spirit of a common purpose and objective allows our team to get the work done that is necessary for us to compete at the highest level at the outset of the season. Our coaches and players appreciate the opportunity the University at Albany affords us to be the best we can be."
In the 14 years since the Giants began training at UAlbany, the camp has averaged more than 33,000 fans per summer. The camp attendance mark of 46,960 was established last year, the fourth time figures have surpassed 40,000-plus. One of the fields used is now known as Mara-Tisch Field, and was dedicated on Aug. 16, 2007 in honor of the team's former owners Wellington Mara and Robert Tisch.