NFL lockout: Small businesses begin to sweat
NFL lockout could mean smaller revenues for businesses that rely on training camps. NFL lockout would have to last seven more weeks to begin affecting training camp.
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NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league "has set no such date" for an agreement to ensure the opening of normal training camps.Skip to next paragraph
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So, at SUNY Cortland and several points west and south, they wait.
"Everybody is anxious," MacNeill said.
According to a report from the university, Jets camp drew 41,000 visitors last year, from 32 states and four Canadian provinces. Though nearly 90 percent were from New York, 59 of the 62 counties were represented. The overall economic effect of camp has been pegged at $5.8 million, and spectators at last summer's camp accounted for 82 percent of that spending.
"We think it will be even bigger this year if they can get the collective bargaining agreement done," SUNY Cortland president Erik Bitterbaum said. "From an economic perspective, it's an economic engine, and from a morale standpoint it lifts the community. People spruce up their neighborhoods. It really was a point of pride."
Doug's Fish Fry is a half-mile down the road from the practice field, and it's become a destination for fans. Owner Mark Braun has the place spruced up just as one would expect from a Jets season ticket-holder the past 15 years.
There are Jets photos and autographs at every turn. Welcome banners are nailed to all corners above the main dining area, and a "Hard Knocks" T-shirt in honor of the popular HBO documentary series hangs between two burnt-orange neon fish signs.
"I'm just nervous if we miss a year they might not remember us as easily," Braun said. "I'll miss it as a business owner, but more as a fan."
Then there is Green Bay, Wis., home of the defending Super Bowl champions, where fans would miss preseason football as much as anyone. The Packers train at their team headquarters, but an estimate by AECOM Technical Services put the impact of their 2009 camp at $7.4 million, based on 34,000 attendees.
More than 80 percent of them come from outside of Brown County, and they stay an average of close to two days, giving a lift to local restaurants and hotels.
"It's going to be a fairly significant hit in terms of impact, because we have a number of people where that is their vacation," said Fred Monique, the president of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.
"The Packers organization and the city of Green Bay did not get a chance to celebrate like it should. They won the championship, then they went straight to the lockout."