CHARLESTON, W.Va. — New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said Thursday at the state capitol bringing his NFL team to the Greenbrier Resort for training camp the next three years is a great opportunity for the Saints and for West Virginians.

“You’ll have a chance to meet a ton of our fans that will make this trip and we’ve already got a lot of ‘Who Dat’ fans in this region, they’ll just have a little bigger voice now,” Payton said during a standing room only ceremony in the governor’s reception room. The coach was escorted into the room by a trumpet solo of ‘When the Saints Come Marching In.’

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the Tourism Development Act into law just before Payton was introduced. The law will make tax credits available for Greenbrier owner Jim Justice and others creating tourism projects. Justice plans to use the credit on the Saints project. He’ll be building three practice fields and a 55,000-square foot multi-use building.

Payton said he first visited the resort last July during The Greenbrier Classic. He said he believes it will make a great location for four weeks of training camp. But he said it will be more than the accommodations that will make it successful.

“We’ve been in great facilities,” he said. “It’s really the relationship, it’s a two-way street, it’s the relationship the club has with the people holding the training camp and vice-versa.”

Payton promised a good fan experience during the camp.

“Having a chance to watch an NFL time practice I think is very impressionable (on young people), especially with the right team,” he said. “I think you’ll see that with our players.”

Payton said he’s not concerned about the luxurious accommodations of The Greenbrier being a distraction for his players. He said they understand the importance of camp.

“Training camp is a window where you are getting ready,” he said. “It’s probably the most important window, especially now with the new rules because we aren’t allowed to be in shoulder pads during the off-season.”

Payton said the Saints would likely report sometime around July 23.

The coach was joined Thursday by Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, Gov. Tomblin, state Senate President Jeff Kessler, House of Delegates of Speaker Tim Miley and others.


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  • Mason County Contrarian

    Louisianans, please accept this gift from the taxpayers of West Virginia--ninety-nine percent of which cannot even afford to stay at this taxpayer-subsidized enterprise.

  • Greg

    Since we have no instate NFL team, why not cheer on the Saints! Plus Bobby Boucher is awesome... and a great waterboy as well.

    I have always been amazed at how wvu fans, who hate Pitt so badly, can love the Steelers. They play on the same field for crying out loud!

    Good for WV, Jim Justice and anyone willing to make the investment in tourism. The boy scout camp will likely fall under this tax credit as well.

  • Roger

    Hmm, looks like a bunch of steelers fans are not liking the love the Saints are getting in WV.

  • Voter

    Sean Peyton is cool. Earl Ray is not.

  • JTC

    The next step should be to get the Saints play a preseason in game in Morgantown, that alone would generate millions in revenue, plus big a huge boost for the university.

  • rekterx

    Some of you guys are missing the "Big Picture."

    All you need to do is get a few of the Saints players and coaches over to "The Mystery Hole" and the word will spread through the whole NFL. Then it will filter into the populations of the various NFL cities.

    I predict a Tidal Wave of tourism and new business in West Virginia. This Saints at the Greenbrier and The Mystery Hole thing will make history.

    • glibglub

      It'll be a real tourism bounty, amirite?

      Get it? Saints? Bounty? I'm here all week!

  • Aaron

    I've been to Louisiana in July. I can see why the Saints want to come to the Greenbrier Valley.

  • Derek

    Games for big spenders how is this going to help our economy. Why dont we give tax breaks for real jobs Southern WV cannot compete with Va. If you cant fix this let Mercer County go back to Va. Bluestone Coal was always late paying their bills and try to negotiate a settlement. Now the Coal mines is closed their rich and Keystone is in poverty. Makes me sick. Who cares I am a Panthers fan.

  • Chef Camille

    Will Booth Goodwin now be a Saints fan?

  • Saves me money

    Won't have to drive to new Orlenes for an autograph now at least. With gas prices these days and a short trip to the greenbrier. Drew Bree's here I come. There going to squander 25 mil somewhere without me having a raise so at least it's in the news and not lost in pockets we have to dig to find out who stole it.

  • Oscar

    Another 80 yrs of Democrat leadership will serve us well! This is ludicrous! Failure at all levels of state Democratic leadership.
    Between Earl Ray and Jeff Kessler-I feel like I just got double teamed at the proctologist!

    Justice is smart-WV voters ARE NOT!


    I guess if you have more money than sense , you can spend it any way you choose . . . I've never been the greenbrier , but I'd be more inclined to visit to get autographs from Mountaineer football greats than to even think of looking at the pros of today(ugh). . .

    and how is it that the pro golfers he pays millions to play at his middling rated course , NEVER make the cut . . . ? . . . and the medical facility will be for what ? to treat all the visiting celebrities who OD on "fun" substances . . . I'd use the term drugs , but I'm sure all the glitter people can find a prescription for any ingestible/injectable substances . . .

    if Mr Justice is dreaming that he can turn the greenbrier into a stop on the "glitter" peoples worldly travels - Mr Justice better find the mother ship of star trek and have scottie beam it to another location . . .

  • wv4ever

    Big deal! Justice gets another tax break and the small business owners do not. Why would anyone in WV even care about N.O. Saints! Money could have been used for about a trillion different meaningful things.

  • Booooooooooooooooooooo !!


  • Jim N Charleston

    Excellent move Jim. You've played the suckas runnin this state for $25 million in tax credits over 10 years. Considering you 'paid' less than that for the entire Greenbrier to start with, this is a brilliant move. Probably had to comp a few room and golf passes to some elected officials, but well worth it. Congrats WV you just got played and not by the Saints, but by another snake oil salesman in the gambling industry.

    • Aaron

      He won't get $25 million off this investment. His $20 million investment is only eligible for $5 million in tax breaks not to exceed 10% per year meaning the most he will get is $500k and he only gets that tax break AFTER base sales have been met.

      At least that is how Hoppy explained it last Friday when he had Mr. Justice on the show. As such, that sounds like a pretty fair deal for taxpayers to me.

      • wv4ever

        This entire ordeal is not worth a plug nickel to any resident in WV except for those that are affiliated with the Greenbrier. Oh, wait, more prostitutes will be needed to service the football players and their groupies while they spend their money in the casino to continually feed the Justice bank. But they will be from Baltimore or DC not WV. I have always supported the Democrat rule of WV until now. This should and will bring down our state to being a Fox News puppet Republican state.