Thunder, lightning and heavy rain didn't deter dozens of die-hard Jets fans in Cortland, who eagerly awaited the arrival of their favorite NFL franchise this afternoon.
After a soggy wait, two busses loaded with Jets players, coaches and personnel pulled onto Main Street. Rex Ryan, first round draft pick Calvin Pryor and former Clemson Tiger Tajh Boyd stepped off their buses to give a quick greeting to their new fans and applaud their commitment to brave the rain.
This marks the fifth straight year that Jets have held their training camp on SUNY Cortland's campus. Last year the three week long camp drew over 21,000 visitors to Cortland. SUNY Cortland estimates that the economic impact of Jets Training Camp since 2009 to be more that $19 million for Cortland County.
Businesses across Cortland enjoy the boost during the traditionally sleepy summer months.
"Typically this is a slower time or year so my workers are looking for more hours," said Tony Caruso, owner of Harry and Joes Pub. "They have families to support. All of this creates a great cycle. The bartenders, servers, cooks, they're all making more money and then putting it back into the economy."
Jets training camp officially begins Thursday, May 24, at 10 a.m. All 19 practices are open to the public and are free, although tickets are required and there will be a $5 fee for parking. Free tickets for Jets Training Camp and a schedule of events can be found on the Jets Web site.