Despite extensive flood damage in June, the Saints have indeed returned to West Virginia for training camp, at The Greenbrier resort. The team’s commitment to the state means a lot.
“More important than you’ll know,” said Greenbrier owner (and West Virginia gubernatorial candidate) Jim Justice, via FOX 8. “The reason for that is, when you’re hurting, and someone takes a bold step to step out and say we’re there for you, and we’re coming. We’re coming no matter what, we’re coming. It was really, really, meaningful.”
It’s the third and final year of the team’s arrangement in West Virginia, where the late July/early August days are much cooler and less humid than they are in Louisiana. An extension of the deal remains possible; in 2015, an extension apparently was almost reached.
“Well, last year there was a bunch of conversations about that when they were here,” Justice said. “We were just about to conclude on all that, and then I don’t know exactly what happened and everything, but we just drifted away from the heat of the moment to get it done, get it finalized and get the extension in place. I would love the Saints to be here for forevermore. I love the organization, I love the people. If it doesn’t work for them, I completely understand that. Because there will be five other NFL teams that would love to be here, that’s not an issue.”
Last year, the Cardinals spent a week practicing at The Greenbrier between games at Detroit and Pittsburgh. It’s unclear which teams would choose to replace the Saints as the team that spends training camp at The Greenbrier. In today’s NFL, not many venture away from their regular practice facilities.