Albany, Giants Agree to New Deal
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The New York Giants rejected an offer to return to New Jersey and decided Wednesday to keep their training camp at the University at Albany for the next three years.
The extension has no outs or options for either side, Giants executive vice president and general counsel John Mara said in announcing the agreement with university president Karen R. Hitchcock.
The terms of the extension are basically the same as the original five-year contract signed in March 1996. The Giants will only pay for food, security and any extra services they require.
The original contract was set to expire when training camp ends next week.
``I think everything, from the quality of the facilities to the quality of the staff from the president on down, they have done everything we have asked them to do for five years,″ Mara said at a hastily called news conference held with the Giants practicing on the field.
``It’s the best training camp we’ve ever had,″ Mara added. ``So we finally decided we wanted to stay with a good thing.″
Albany is about 150 miles from the Giants’ headquarters in East Rutherford, N.J. Several team officials felt the distance was too far and that the team might be marketed better in New Jersey.
Attendance at training camp has declined in recent years with an average of 819 fans attending practice daily.
Fairleigh Dickinson, which played to the Giants from 1988-95 at its Madison campus, was trying to get the team back. The university, located about 40 minutes from Giants Stadium, upgraded its recreational and dormitory facilities and is planning to build a new stadium.
However, Fairleigh Dickinson’s fields were no match for the ones at Albany, which has six fields the Giants can use for practice.