Albany Time: Giants Training Camp Info

For the first time in their history, the Giants will begin training camp in August. The defending NFC East champions' 2009 training camp will begin on Sunday, Aug. 2 when all players must report to SUNY-Albany.

The first practice session will take place the following morning. All practice sessions will be open to the public. There is no admission charged for watching training camp workouts, and paid parking is available in the campus lots. For the fourth consecutive summer, many of the Giants practices will take place in the evening, from 6:05-8:05, which the Giants hope will cut down on injuries while also allowing more fans a chance to attend.

The Giants are traveling to U-Albany for the 14th consecutive summer, establishing the longest period in the team's training camp history. Big Blue previously spent 13 summers at Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y. from 1975-87. The Giants, who have also trained in the states of Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Oregon, previously worked out at Fairleigh Dickinson University (1988-95) in Madison, N.J. prior to their arrival in Albany.

In the 13 years that the Giants have trained at U-Albany, the preseason camp has averaged 32,068 fans per summer. The all-time mark of 45,040 was established in 2004.

Future: U-Albany and the Giants are in the third and final year of an existing agreement to hold training camp. "We're going to have discussions this summer with people in Albany," Giants President/CEO John Mara said. "We still need to talk as an organization ... we haven't done that yet, as to what we want to do. The University and its staff have been efficient, thorough and professional during our 13 years on campus. We couldn't ask for a better summer home, and we are always as prepared as we can possibly be for the start of the season when we leave U-Albany."

Admission: Training camp practices are free and open to the public. On-campus paid parking is available.

Giants' hotline: Fans are encouraged to call the Giants training camp hotline at 518-442-7369 to check practice times and locations, which are subject to change with little advance notice.

Daily routine: Days with double sessions: 8:35-10:35 AM and 6:05-8:05 PM (except the first two days of camp when the practices are 8:35-10:35 AM and 3:15-5:15 PM). Days with a single session: 2:35-4:35 PM (except preceding exhibition games, when there will be one morning jog-through session from 10:30-11:30).

Roster cutdowns: The first roster cutdown to 75 players is Sept. 1. All clubs must have their roster down to a maximum of 53 players by Sept. 5. The following day clubs can begin assembling an eight-man practice squad.

Preseason schedule: Aug. 17 vs. Carolina, Aug. 22 at Chicago, Aug. 29 vs. Jets, Sept. 3 at New England

Fan Guidelines: Practice sessions will be open for viewing by the public daily throughout training camp. Limited seating is provided alongside the practice fields. Restroom facilities and concession stands will also be provided. Concession stands will include food and beverages as well as other merchandise. Fans wishing to get autographs are asked to do so after practice sessions, outside the practice field fence as the players return to the locker room. Because of the full schedules during camp, it is not possible to schedule autograph or photo sessions. Groups wishing to visit training camp do not need to make special arrangements; they may watch practice from the bleachers. Where to stay: The Desmond Hotel. 660 Albany Shaker Road. Albany. 518-869-8100 Where to go: Graney's Bar & Grill. 275 New Scotland Ave. Albany. 518-453-3299

Directions to SUNY Albany:

From the North: Take Interstate 87 (Northway) South to Exit 1E. Off the exit, proceed to Interstate 90 East (Albany/Boston). Take Exit 2 (Washington Avenue), which leads right into the University at Albany campus. Follow University Drive (heading south) 3/4 of mile to Dutch Quad parking lot (public) and one mile to Recreation & Convocation parking lot (Giants/VIP).

From the South: Take Interstate 87 (Thruway) North to Exit 24. After the tollbooths, proceed onto Interstate 90 East towards Boston. Take Exit 2 (Washington Avenue), which leads right into the University at Albany campus. Follow University Drive (heading south) 3/4 mile to Dutch Quad parking lot (public) and one mile to Recreation & Convocation parking lot (Giants/VIP).

From the East: Take Interstate 90 West towards Buffalo. Leave interstate at Exit 2 (Fuller Road). Turn left at Fuller Road, then take next left at Washington Avenue. The University at Albany campus is on your right. Upon entering campus, follow University Drive (heading south) 3/4 mile to Dutch Quad parking lot (public) and one mile to Recreation & Convocation parking lot (Giants/VIP).

From the West: Take Interstate 90 (Thruway) East to Exit 24. After the tollbooths, proceed onto Interstate 90 East towards Boston. Leave interstate at Exit 2 (Washington Avenue), which leads right into the University at Albany campus. Follow University Drive (heading south) 3/4 of mile to Dutch Quad parking lot (public) and one mile to Recreation & Convocation parking lot (Giants/VIP).

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