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.


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • 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.

  • Sandlick Rambler

    So, we are using tax dollars via a tax break to allow Jim Justice to build this facility that will be used by an out of state business for just 4 or so weeks out of the year.

    I beat WVU and Marshall would both love to have three new practice fields and a 55,000 foot indoor training facility. AND --- WVU and Marshall would both use such facilities much more than just 4 weeks out of a 52 week year.

  • Big Daddy Kane

    If camp starts late July '14 Big Jim Justice better get some dirt moving to build (3) fields and a 55K square foot training facility.

    What will Jim do with these fields and training center the other 48 weeks out of the year???

    • Aaron

      Well, let's see. Were it me, I would promote the use during the SSAC sanctioned 3 week summer course and during August practice to high school teams. It would make a great facility for spring practices for college and universities. I can see Nike, Adidas and like organizations holding camps here. It could be huge on the 7 or 7 summer circuit. If marketed properly, it could be used at least half the year, if not more.

    • Larry

      He will "change games" with them other 48 weeks, this is enormous!

      • Larry

        *the other

  • griff

    it will only benefit Jim Justice

  • Mike

    I'm a Steeler fan. So you know I ain't no Saint.

  • Robert

    I still don't see what the big deal is beyond the novelty of having a sideshow in town for a few weeks a year.

  • Ramman

    This is a joke right?

    • Pickle Barrel

      No joke. Your tax dollars at work.

      • Aaron

        How so. While I did not like the way the tax break was shuffled through the legislature and I'm not sure how it will come into play with the remaining ventures by Justice, on this one, it's a no brainer.

        There is no tax break until sales in subsequent years surpass the sales set in the base year. At that point, the Greenbrier gets to keep sales tax not to exceed 10% of the eligible amount which based on a $20 million investment, will be $500k per year.

        If sales do not exceed the base year, Mr. Justice does not get any tax breaks. I would also note that this venture is available to you and I if we so choose to invest in a tourist related business.

  • DWL

    I see cousin Earl Ray wasted no time getting into the picture. I wonder if his family is going to operate the pharmaceutical concession around the "camp"? Oh "brother", gotta keep those "boys" in the National Felon's League satisfied. Will they be bullying or gay bashing?

  • Larry

    This is gonna be big, everyone in WV's favorite NFL team, the Saints, will actually be here practicing for 4 weeks out of the year. I see huge things happening as a result. I'm talking "game changer", no more will WV be the butt of all the hillbilly, inbred, barefoot, banjo playing, chronically unemployed, meth/heroin addict, redneck jokes, that all ends July 23!

    • Say What

      Go lie down before you hurt yourself, Lar.

      • Larry

        Ouch, good one, you really got me there.