FLORHAM PARK, NJ-- The New York Jets have officially launched their pursuit of this year's Super Bowl 50 Vince Lombardi trophy on July 31. The team held their first open public practice at their state of the art training facility located in Florham Park.
The event is free and there can be many activites found for all ages. Do you love football? Watch the players practice on the turf field. Have young kids? Take them for a fun day out to play on popular inflatable obstacle courses at Jets Fest. Have an eye for food? Many local food trucks come to training camp to provide food and beverage options to hungry Jets fans. Don't have any Jets merchandise? Shop official Jets merchandise at the practice facility.
Once you get through the gate, fans are greeted with the very special Jets Fest. Jets Fest includes activites ranging from face painting, photo booths, and cornhole boards. The food court is also located in Jets Fest as well as bathrooms and first aid. The Jets have season ticket salesmen on hand and give out many freebies including magnet schedules, key chain schedules, rosters, autograph cards, tshirts and knock around sunglasses.
For the kids who are under 12, they also get some pretty cool training camp perks. The first 100 kids under 12 can be signed up for Generation Jets. Generation Jets is the kids only fan club that sends out special surprises and gifts each year to those that are signed up. The special part about being one of the first 100 kids at training camp is the kids only autograph area.
The highlights of watching the practice come early. The team warms up together and then spreads out on three fields to work on special teams drills, punting drills, kick return drills, and passing drills. This is one chance to see the stars of the New York Jets up close. The players get to practice in front of a supportive crowd and the public gets a chance to see how hard the players train during camp. Jaylin Ward drove her son and his friends down from Connecticut.
"The boys enjoy coming. My husband brought them last year and all we ever heard about at dinner was how cool it was to hear the players yelling out the plays or the sound that the players helmets make when they hit helmet to helmet. We had to come back, I guess it's our new summertime tradition," Ward said as her sons were focused on watching Geno Smith, the young New York Jets starting quarterback.
As practice comes to a close, fans can line the fence around the facility to collect autographs from the veteran stars and rookies of the New York Jets. 15 year old Elizabeth Edler and her sister Allison have been coming to training camp for the last two years with large groups of friends. Between the two of them, they have collected some pretty cool autographs.
"We got to meet Geno Smith last year. This year, we are hoping to meet Eric Decker," Elizabeth said excitedly.
People come from all over to witness training camp. The perks of training camp highly outweigh the negatives. For 15 year old Jeffery Rodriguez and his family, they make the trek over from Manhattan to see the Jets practice. His father has been taking him for years.
"We ate our lunch in the car and got in line around 11 this morning. It's hot but this is always something we look forward to every year," Rodriguez said as he watched practice.
The Jets facility has been in Florham Park since 2010 but this year, many changes have been brought to make training camp a better fan experience. While the weather is hot, the Jets provide free water stations and have many "cool down" areas located throughout their training camp facility. For the first time this year, the Jets placed bleachers around the facility so fans can comfortably sit and enjoy the exciting atmosphere.
Looking to get tickets? Head over to the New York Jets website. Registration is free and tickets are free and required for entry. Don't miss out on a chance to see the stars and rookies of the New York Jets in the upcoming weeks. After all, training camp only comes once a year!