NEW YORK — The New York Jets are camping at home this summer.
The team announced Tuesday it will hold training camp at its facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, after spending five of the past six years at SUNY Cortland. The campus is about a three-hour drive from the Jets’ facility.
The team trained at Cortland each summer when Rex Ryan was coach, except for 2011 after the NFL lockout. Ryan preferred to take his team on the road to bond, but Ryan now coaches in Buffalo and the team has a relatively new facility.
So the Jets chose to stay home.
The team explored other camp options last year, under its agreement with Cortland, but decided to spend one last summer there. During the past few months, the Jets again considered other options.
“SUNY Cortland felt like home because of the tremendous local support we received during our time there,” said Jets owner Woody Johnson, who thanked school president Erik Bitterbaum and his staff and the entire community.
“All went above and beyond to embrace our organization and create a comfortable environment for our team and fans. They always will be a part of our Jets family.”
Quarterback Geno Smith and defensive tackle Leger Douzable were among those who thanked the school and the Cortland community via Instagram posts.
The Jets pumped millions of dollars into Cortland every summer, as well as surrounding areas such as Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region.
According to a study by the college, the Jets generated about $4.6 million last year for the Cortland community. In 2010, they generated more than $5.8 million, and with Tim Tebow the main attraction in 2012, more than $5.5 million.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed hosting summer training camp for the New York Jets and deeply appreciate the experience, which was beneficial for the college, the team and the community,” Bitterbaum said in a statement. “We wish the team well this season and in the future.”
The team previously held camp at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, its home from 1968 until 2008, when the Jets moved operations to Florham Park.
Traveling for camp was common for years in the NFL. But now nearly three-quarters of the teams — 21 of 32 — stay home to take advantage of their facilities and cut travel costs.
In making the announcement, the Jets highlighted being closer to their core fan base — the distance to Cortland a sore point for some who couldn’t make the trip to central New York.
“Our hope is that our training in Florham Park will allow additional fans to experience the fun and excitement of a Jets training camp this year,” team President Neil Glat said.
The first training camp under new Jets coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Mike Maccagnan is expected to begin in late July.
(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer)