NY Giants begin training camp at UAlbany | News
ALBANY -- Even after 15 years of holding camp at University at Albany, some fans still can't get over the fact that an NFL team and a Super Bowl champion is right here in their backyard.
"You get to see the players. You're right there. Sometimes if you're lucky, you might get an autograph," said Glenda Bean from Greenwich.
Bean drove down for the day just to catch a glimpse of her favorite players.
"I did take the day off just to see the Giants," Bean said.
And she's not alone. The first day of practice at UAlbany attracted a bit of a crowd. And that is good for local businesses.
"It's great. I saw some of the spectators go back to their practices and watch a Super Bowl champion practice this year," Mike Arduini, from Across The Street Pub on Western Avenue, told Newschannel 13. "It was well missed last year."
Arduini said he saw a 15 percent drop in business as a result when the Giants chose to practice at their own facilities in New Jersey because of the lockout.
"In this economy, it's something you really can't make up. Once they're not here, they're not here," Arduini said.
Some business owners said they've come to expect the business Big Blue brings to the Capital Region. But after what happened last year, those businesses have learned to appreciate the team's presence in Albany even more.
Arduini and others are already seeing a big improvement and it's only been the first day of practice. The folks just down the street at Sutter's Mill and Mining Co. said the restaurant was nearly empty this time last year.
"Today we both had probably 5 or 6 tables already. So you can already see the business clientele really going since the Giants have been across the street," waitress Jenna Mayette said.