Capital One Bank Jets Training Camp kicks off Thursday on the north campus of Hofstra University. Fans can get their first glimpse of the Jets since their 13-10 overtime victory over the Chiefs in the 2007 season finale as they begin preparation for the upcoming season. The first practice starts at 8:45 a.m. and the Jets anticipate a turnout of up to 14,000 for the six practices scheduled for Thursday through Sunday.
This year's camp will be highlighted by Family Day, which includes a Green & White practice on Aug. 2 at Hofstra's James M. Shuart Stadium, which will be free to the public. That practice is scheduled for 1 p.m., but festivities will start three hours prior with Generation Jets Fest, the team's interactive theme park, a live broadcast from 1050 ESPN radio, and the 2008 Jets Flight Crew signing autographs and performing routines.
At halftime of the Family Day practice, the Jets will honor their 40-year history at the university and their fans in a ceremony featuring chairman and CEO Woody Johnson, Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz and former Jets and Hofstra wide receiver great Wayne Chrebet.
In conjunction with A-1 First Class-Viking Moving and Storage, the Jets will host a food drive benefitting INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network), which operates 19 soup kitchens and 25 shelters throughout Long Island. Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the event.
For those who plan to attend training camp practices, here are the essentials:
The gates will open for spectators about a half-hour before the practice is scheduled to begin. (If you show up early, you get to watch how professional athletes stretch.)
Space on the bleachers is limited, but there is standing room along the fencing of the practice field. (First come, first sit. And sitting is much more comfortable.)
Players are not allowed to sign autographs individually before or after practice, but in keeping with a tradition of head coach Eric Mangini, a position group will be sent to the fenceline at the conclusion of practice to sign autographs for fans.
Hofstra's food service will sell food in the field patio area. For opening weekend, the Jets, courtesy of Capital One Bank, will be giving away bottles of water.
Jets Shop will sell merchandise in their tent adjacent to the practice field that will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Just for Kids
In addition to Generation Jets Fest, training camp will feature special events, giveaways and autograph opportunities for kids, including Punt, Pass & Kids presented by Dunkin' Donuts, in which children under 14 challenge each other in punting, passing and kicking.
New for 2008: the State Farm Kids Autograph Alley. To gain access to this area, you must be a Generation Jets Kids Club member, or you can sign up for membership at Jets Fest, which will grant you access.
Practice Schedule (First Week)
Thursday, July 24 —8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Friday, July 25 —1:30 p.m
Saturday, July 26 —8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Sunday, July 27 —1:30 p.m.
Monday, July 28 —Closed to Public
Tuesday, July 29 —8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 30 —1:30 p.m.
Generation Jets Fest Schedule
Two-practice days — 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2:30-6:30 p.m.
One-practice days —Noon-4 p.m.