The New Orleans Saints announced today that the team will conduct their annual training camp at the team's year-around training facility in Metairie, La., this summer. The announcement was made by Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
The team is tentatively scheduled to begin training camp on July 29/30. It will mark only the fourth time in the team's history they have held training camp at their permanent facility. The team held training camp at the Metairie facility from 2003-2005.
"We, as an organization, look forward to holding training camp in our-state-of-the-art training facility," said Saints Owner Tom Benson. "The fans in New Orleans and in our entire region from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles and from Biloxi to Pensacola will have the ability to come out and watch our team get ready for what will be a very exciting season. We are committed to our region and although Millsaps College was a great partner, we remain committed to doing our part to strengthen our state, our city and I believe this is another step in that direction."
"Training camp in Jackson could not have been possible without the assistance and direction of Governor Haley Barbour's office and the Mississippi Development Authority," said Saints Owner/Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc.'In addition, we also thank BankPlus for their support during our three years there. Our involvement with our partners and fans in Mississippi will not end with the relocation of training camp. We look forward to continued participation with local events and youth football initiatives."
The Saints have held their past three training camps at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., an arrangement that Loomis called ideal for the teams' needs at the time.
"We first want to thank the people at Millsaps as well as our fans in Mississippi and Jackson, we had a first rate experience there. Millsaps proved to be a great location and we couldn't have been treated any better," Loomis said. "The dynamics and economics have shifted a bit and we have decided that holding training camp at our facility would provide us with enough quality fields to work on, an indoor practice facility in the case of inclement weather as well as access to the technology we have available at our headquarters in Metairie.
In making the decision to stay at their training facility during training camp, the Saints will become at least the 17th current NFL team to host their training camp at their primary operational base in 2009.
"As NFL training facilities evolve and develop, there is a trend to want to maximize the exposure your team has to all of the amenities that help make training camp successful," Loomis added. "Training camp is a very physically and mentally demanding period of time for the players and by being able to utilize our facilities, we feel like it is the best decision that we can make for our team at this time."
"Millsaps College and the Saints have established an exciting partnership in the past three years," said Millsaps President Frances Lucas. "We're delighted that our working relationship remains strong, mutually affectionate, and professionally beneficial. We look forward to their return. "
The team will announce their formal training camp schedule following the NFL Draft.
Past Training Camp Locations:
· San Diego, California (1967-69) Cal Western University
· Bowling Green, Ohio (1970) Bowling Green University
· Hattiesburg, Mississippi (1971-73) University of Southern Mississippi
· Vero Beach, Florida (1974) Dodgertown
· Thibodaux, Louisiana (1975) Nicholls State University
· Vero Beach, Florida (1976-84) Dodgertown
· Ruston, Louisiana (1985) Louisiana Tech
· Hammond, Louisiana (1986-87) Southeastern Louisiana University
· La Crosse, Wisconsin (1988-99) University of Wisconsin LaCrosse
· Thibodaux, Louisiana (2000-02) Nicholls State University
· Metairie, Louisiana (2003-05) Saints Training Facility
· Jackson, Mississippi (2006-08) Millsaps College
Saints re-sign Harrington: The Saints announced Monday that the club has signed re-signed quarterback Anthony Hargrove/Joey Harrington.aspx">Joey Harrington.
Harrington is a veteran quarterback entering his eighth professional season who first signed with the Saints early in the 2008 season. A former first-round draft choice in 2002, the 30-year-old passer served as the Saints' third quarterback in 12 contests but did not see any game action. In seven NFL seasons, Harrington has started 76 of the 81 games he has played in, completing 1,459 of 2,538 career passes for 14,693 yards with 79 touchdowns and 85 interceptions.
The 6-4, 210-pound product of the University of Oregon became a free agent at the conclusion of the season and re-signed with the Saints today at the outset of the club's offseason conditioning program.