When the New York Jets held training camp at SUNY-Cortland in Cortland, N.Y., in 2010, over 41,000 people flocked to the campus over three weeks with an estimated economic impact of nearly $6 million . The Jets trained at their own facility after last year's lockout, but they return to Cortland this year as one of 14 teams hitting the road for training camp.
With quarterback Tim Tebow arriving on the Jets' roster, the area is expecting more visitors this summer, particularly from various church groups, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported Saturday.
"A couple months ago, I got a call from a church group, then another and I thought it was interesting, not groups we normally get calls from," Jim Dempsey of the Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau said. "Right now, we have no way of knowing how many more groups will come because of Tim Tebow.
"But we expect a lot."
As a Christian role model, Tebow has been a big draw on the evangelical circuit. But with how regimented training camps are, the groups planning to visit central New York to see Tebow this summer might be disappointed as their only chance to see Tebow will be during training camp practices. The local Christian bookstore has already experienced how training camp will be about football, not spectacle with Tebow.
"They said he (Tebow) is not doing any more signings this year," Kitty Jones, owner of the Spirit & Life bookstore, said. "I wish he would change his mind. I mean he is going to be here for a month."