Atlantic Health Training Center Grand Opening 9-2-08
Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson called it "the most beautiful site on the face of the earth for a football team."
"What a place," N.J. Gov. Jon Corzine said. "I think I'm about to do a 'J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!"
"This facility," said Joseph Trunfio, the Atlantic Health CEO, "is going to be the envy not only of every other football team but of every professional sports team."
They're all biased, of course. And they're all correct.
The Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, the magnificent new home of the New York Jets in Florham Park, was officially opened at midday today under a hot sun and a clear sky with a ribbon-cutting ceremony presided over by Johnson, Corzine and Trunfio along with other elected officials and dignitaries.
N.J. Senate president Richard Codey was also on hand, adding his voice to the throng in saying that the new facility "is great for the state. And we want to see you win the Super Bowl as well." So was N.J. Sports and Exposition Authority chairman Carl Goldberg. The event was hosted by Jets radio play-by-play voice Bob Wischusen, a New Jersey resident.
Two of the officials are mayors of the towns most closely affected by the Jets moving into their new home. In fact, Florham Park Mayor Scott Eveland and Madison Borough Mayor Mary-Anna Holden have decked out the main streets of their towns with banners, flags and posters welcoming the Green & White to the neighborhood.
The Jets were also well-represented by executive vice presidents Matt Higgins, Thad Sheely and Mike Tannenbaum and senior vice president Bill Senn, among others. Also in attendance was former team president Jay Cross, involved in the start of the process that began with an extensive search during which 40 sites in the Garden State were considered as the team's new home.
On March 31, 2006, the Jets announced they would relocate their training center from their long-time Long Island base to Florham Park. Construction commenced in April 2007 and is ongoing, but the certificate of occupancy has been issued.
The players began work Monday with meetings and walkthroughs and begin their regular-season week of three practices Wednesday before departing for Miami and their season opener against the Dolphins. Today is their off day, but Kerry Rhodes and Mike Nugent represented the players and Rhodes wielded the scissors for the ribbon-cutting.
The speed with which the project rose in the southeastern Morris County countryside was frequently praised by the speakers. So were some of the attributes displayed by the team during the process.
"The Jets are a class organization. That's how I see them," Trunfio said. "Everyone in this organization is classy. They do things first-class. They quest for excellence, and we're proud to be associated with the Jets on and off the field."
The area towns have also embraced their new neighbors. As Eveland said, surveying the building whose entrance sheltered him from the sun but not from the view, "This truly exemplifies what can be accomplished with teamwork."
Then Eveland added a simple coda to the ceremonies:
"God bless. Good luck. Go Jets."