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Giants move camp from Albany to team complex in New Jersey

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Albany, N.Y., is the latest loser in the NFL's four-month-old labor lockout.

The New York Giants became the third NFL team to cancel their out-of-town training camp when they informed officials at the University at Albany and Mayor Gerald Jennings on Friday morning that they would not be returning this year because of the uncertainty surrounding the league's labor problems.

If the players and owners reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the Giants will train at their headquarters in East Rutherford.

"In light of current circumstances, it simply became impractical for us to hold camp away from home," said John Mara, the Giants' co-owner and chief executive. "The University at Albany and the Capital Region has been a great summer home for us for 15 years, and we have every intention of returning there in 2012."

The Baltimore Ravens canceled their camp at Winchester, Md., and the Jets called off their training camp at SUNY-Cortland in central New York roughly two weeks ago. Both teams also plan to stage training camps at their home facilities if there is a season.

Although owners and players are negotiating, the Giants believed there was not enough time to transport equipment, weights, medical supplies and to organize the transportation of players even if an agreement was reached.

The team also said that coach Tom Coughlin and his staff also thought after missing an offseason with the players, their time will be more efficiently spent at the team's home base.

The Giants' 15-year stay at Albany is their longest at one training-camp site in the franchise's 87-year history. Before moving to Albany, they spent eight summers at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J.

"While I was disappointed when John Mara called me this morning, I fully understand the Giants' decision," said University at Albany President George M. Philip.

The university does not profit financially from Giants summer camp. However, it measures the value of team's visits by enhanced public awareness and publicity.

Jennings said he understood the rationale behind the decision.

"We have had a great relationship with the Giants organization for 15 years, and my office and our city look forward to this season and to welcoming the Giants back next summer," Jennings said.

The Giants' home facility -- the Timex Performance Center -- is a state-of-the-art complex which opened in 2009. It has three grass fields, a turf field outdoors and a full-sized indoor field.

The only problem having camp there will be housing the players. There are no dormitories.

The NFL lockout has been in place since March 11.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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