After 17 years of holding their annual training camp at Lehigh University, the Eagles have decided to move back home. They will now hold their camp at the NovaCare complex and Lincoln Financial Field.
The team cited the world class infrastructure (medical facilities, video rooms) at the NovaCare complex that just don't exist out in Lehigh. They are now among 21 teams in the league who hold their camps at their home base.
Of course the big question this raises for fans is access. We were allowed to go almost all of the Lehigh practices for free and it was always a great way to take a day off and get an up close look at the team. Eagles president Don Smolenski says they are still committed to giving fans access to practices.
"The interaction with our fans during the training camp period remains a huge priority," said Smolenski. "As such, we are currently planning to utilize the opportunities available to us at Lincoln Financial Field to have a number of open practices (which will be free) available to all of our fans. We'll announce those specific plans in the coming weeks."
Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter says he's excited that the Eagles are bringing their camp back to the city, something they haven't done since 1943!
"I'm excited that Eagles training camp is returning to Philadelphia," said Nutter. "I'm looking forward to visiting Lincoln Financial Field with other Eagles fans to give Coach Kelly and the team a warm welcome to the city!"
So what do we think about this? Undoubtedly this means we as fans will have less access to the team during camp than we did at Lehigh, but I certainly do recognize the desire to hold their camp at superior facilities. Plus, you know the players would prefer to be staying home.