From the NFL:
Clubs will begin their on-field preparations for NFL Kickoff 2012 next week, starting with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, July 23 when their veterans and rookies report. By Sunday, July 29, every NFL team will be in camp.
More and more, teams are training at their regular-season headquarters. In 2000, only five of 31 (16 percent) teams stayed close to home. This year,more than half the league (18 of 32, 56 percent) will be "staying home" for training camp.
For the first time in Cincinnati Bengals’ history, the club will conduct its training camp in Cincinnati at its home facility. The Bengals previously held training camp at Georgetown College (1997-2011) in Kentucky and Wilmington College (1968-1996) in Ohio.
"This change will provide our hometown fans a unique opportunity to see the 2012 team as it comes together," says Bengals Executive Vice President KATIE BLACKBURN on training camp being held at Paul Brown Stadium. "We hope it will also help attract fans from outside Greater Cincinnati."
The Baltimore Ravens, too, are looking forward to having all the comforts of home at their disposal as they remain at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland again this summer. Last season, the club decided to conduct training camp at its practice facility in Owings Mills instead of McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland for the first time in franchise history (since 1996).
"How teams conduct training camp today is vastly different," says Ravens General Manager and Executive Vice President OZZIE NEWSOME. "Our football needs and requirements are different. The absence of two-a-days, space needed for the players and the meetings, the importance of having an indoor field when the summer storms come – all are football-influenced factors."
The Ravens will open Training Camp for rookies on July 22nd, with veteran reporting on July 25th.
The numbers may prove home-base popularity is a growing league-wide trend, but there are still teams employing the "old-time" philosophy of encamping away.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the teams that "come together" away from home (Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania). "I love football, I love this process, I love going to camp, I love team-building, readying ourselves to pursue our goals," says Steelers head coach MIKE TOMLIN. "I am extremely excited."
The NFL training camp longevity king? The Green Bay Packers, who return on July 25 for their 55th consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.
The New York Giants’ dream 2011 season began with training camp at their home practice facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey before culminating with the franchise’s eighth NFL championship. This season the team will return to the University at Albany for training camp in Albany, New York for the 16th summer, the most frequent training camp site in team history.
"Albany has been an ideal summer home for our football team," says Giants President and Chief Executive Officer JOHN MARA. "In addition to the great facilities, we have felt for 15 years that starting our season in Albany gives us the best chance to succeed each season."