The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, will host the New Orleans Saints’ 2014 training camp in late July and early August. As part of the deal, the historic hotel has committed to building three practice fields at the resort (two natural turf and one synthetic grass), along with a 55,000-square-foot multipurpose building equipped with meeting rooms, weight rooms, locker rooms, training and physical therapy accommodations, and kitchen and dining facilities.
Specific dates will be determined after the National Football League finalizes its 2014 schedule. While the team will practice at The Greenbrier, it still intends to spend at least part of the training season at its team headquarters in Metairie, Louisiana, and at sites throughout New Orleans that will be open to the public. The team, which last split its training time in 2009 in Southern California, selected the Greenbrier for the region’s location and mild temperatures.
“We are very excited about this new opportunity with the New Orleans Saints, which will benefit all the people of West Virginia, bringing in tourism and new jobs,” said Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier.
Mickey Loomis, the executive vice-president/general manager of the Saints, said the team was interested in splitting its time this year. “We feel like this decision will allow our team to best prepare for our 2014 season by practicing at our facility and also taking advantage of a more moderate climate and setting in West Virginia, similar to what we did in 2009 when we went to southern California for a week,” he said. “I have always been a proponent of mixing up training camp every few years which I believe is a good strategy as we prepare for the season. With this plan, we get the best of both and that is important. We get quality practices in both locations and we get the benefits of having our fans support us during our time at home in Metairie and we get the opportunity for our team to unite at a location away from home.”
The Greenbrier is a national historic landmark that has hosted distinguished guests from around the world since 1778, including 26 U.S. presidents. The resort has recently undergone a $250 million restoration and is now home to The Greenbrier Classic, a PGA Tour event.