WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Work is ahead of schedule on the 55,000 square foot sports performance center at The Greenbrier Resort that is set to serve as a training camp site for the New Orleans Saints later this month, according to the resort’s president and managing director.

On Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Jeff Kmiec seemed confident the building would be finished by July 20 — right before the scheduled reporting day for members of the NFL team, in Greenbrier County, on July 24.

Plans to move part of training camp for the Saints to White Sulphur Springs were announced less than four months ago.

Since then, ground has been cleared, leveled and prepared at The Greenbrier Resort for three football fields — two grass fields and one that will be covered with turf — and the sports performance center is under roof.

In all, it’s an estimated $20 million worth of work.

“We knew that there was a tight time frame when the Saints approached us and said, ‘We need it by this drop dead date.’ You start working the plan backwards and realize it’s going to take three shifts,” Kmiec said of the ongoing work.

At this point, he said the building’s exterior is finished, but the interior is not.

According to the team’s website, on-field workouts for the Saints at The Greenbrier Resort will begin with a non-padded practice session on July 25 from 8:50 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. followed by a walk thru from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. In all, the NFL club will hold 20 practices at The Greenbrier — all open to the public — including a scrimmage on Aug. 2.

Kmiec said they’re expecting thousands of spectators during each practice day.

On Aug. 14, the Saints will travel to New Orleans ahead of their first preseason game on Aug. 15 against the Tennessee Titans. The final two weeks of training camp will be held at the team’s Metairie practice facility.

In White Sulphur Springs, “The facility will have workout training rooms, rehabilitation rooms for orthopedics — those types of things. It also has some incredible meeting facilities and banquet space,” Kmiec said.

“While the Saints are using it, they take the entire 21 days, 24 hours a day. The other 49 weeks of the year, it’s now being contemplated for a lot of things.”

There are early reports West Virginia University’s Mountaineers may spend part of next year’s spring football period at The Greenbrier, possibly during the time of a popular benefit for the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.

Kmiec said the facility could also potentially be a football training destination for Marshall University and Virginia Tech or other teams, like high school teams.

Earlier this year, lawmakers approved a ten year, possible $25 million total tax credit, for three projects at The Greenbrier including the NFL training camp. For the camp infrastructure alone, The Greenbrier would be eligible for a $5 million credit over ten years.

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  • stophating

    if only the working class of WV could afford to set foot on Jim Justice's playground for the wealthy and well-connected....

    Glad to see we, the taxpayers of WV, are still subsidizing Jim Justice..... would be a GD shame if he were only worth 990 million.....

  • Jay

    WOW!!! Our trench diggers can tax breaks to those that can most afford it, but do nothing for the small business operator. You know......those mom and pop businesses!

  • Ole Sasquatch

    If the Saints summer camp is anything like the Redskin camp was when at Frostburg you will see commercialization and class separation to the hilt. Ole Sasquatch left with a very bad taste in his mouth. The Mountaineers are working their way to the same precipice. Show me the Money!

  • mtneerndixie

    Typical Appalachian drivel about wasting taxpayer money, not providing jobs, blah, blah, blah. There are jobs in this state that can't get filled because people either can't pass the drug tests or are so comfortable on public assistance that they don't have to work. JJ has built something great that brings people from all around that spend money and contribute to the economy. All economic growth doesn't doesn't have to come from direct payments to the citizens and the faster the people here learn that the better off we will be. Stop driving by looking at the hood ornament and

  • Randy Flinchum

    I HOPE THE CONTRACTORS GOT THEIR MONEY "UP FRONT" FROM JIM, I am not a crook, JUSTICE. Good luck on getting paid guys.

  • BJean

    what a waste of money - if you are going to do this, why not do this for the Steelers - who's owners actually have spent so much time and money at The Greenbrier over past decades - I just don't get the Saints!

    • Jason412

      The Steelers don't need it. They have the UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South side. As well as St. Vincent college an hour from Pittsburgh for training camp.

  • mook

    What is a good paying job to you? Up here in north central wv. gas industry are paying $ 11 - 12 and hour to flag traffic, and can't find help! Coming in from Ohio to work here. Sick and tired of hearing about we need GOOD PAYING JOBS! If we had more of them people here are drunk or can't pass test or just plain LAZY.

    • Charles

      Not drunk not lazy live beckley nothing but gas stations and restaurants stuck in a bind house is almost paid off working right now 9 hour just getting by I have 15 years underground I got laid off 3 months ago so dont judge me

  • Andrew

    Just a few thoughts on my part after reading some of the other comments. (1) I have to agree that the tax breaks for this project are more of a "gift" to JJ as opposed to being a true economic stimulator. I'll give JJ all the credit in the world for the investment he has made in the Greenbrier and his commitment to the project. But there comes a line that the State has to stop at and say "You're going to have to go this one on your own" (2) You always hear about "investing the money in something that will bring jobs". Well, just because you build a factory doesn't mean the jobs automatically happen. You have to have a private company that will actually have an operating, viable business come here to run that factory and that brings me to (3) WV has gone a long way of solving some of the traditional barriers to new business...corporate tax rates will be in line with other states as of 2015 especially with the demise of the business franchise tax, the workers comp system has been privatized, etc. As a practicing CPA I can tell you the our next big barrier to creating jobs is the lack of a WILLING and TRAINED and sadly SOBER workforce. You hear about the great "work ethic" and "available workforce" of West Virginians but I think there is a significant myth to that now due to the fact the workforce that WANTS to work and is capable of working has moved to North Carolina to find such work. Not saying there aren't some talented and willing folks out there. There are, but not in the numbers we need to staff a new factory. Sadly we're left with a "workforce" that (1) can't pass a drug test and (2) will show up for work for two weeks then disappear. I've seen it first hand in my clients who try to hire and staff their operations. So you can bemoan the current situation on Rt. 52 but the fact is, the vast majority of the populous on Rt. 52 has no interest whatsoever in getting up and going to work in the morning.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      Dadgum good post.

    • TerpEeer

      Andrew your comment was right on. Sadly the movers and workers have left for other states where there are jobs. We see it here in Maryland where the Baltimore area has been literally flooded with Western Pennsylvanians who lost jobs in steel and coal. Recently having property in W.Pa. I can attest that the same situation exists. Those who stayed won't, can't work and everyone exchanges names of good lawyers who can get you on social security disability.
      But, it is kinda like starting over. We have to try to redevelop those areas, using the resources that are left. I still can't understand why WVU/Marshall does not go all out for researching new products and uses for coal.

  • U R Taxdollars

    All those people complaining about their tax dollars going into this project makes me assume one thing - you're scared you might have to take a cut out of your public assistance check to fund this project (see William).

    And what a great recruiting tool for WVU if they do spend some time practicing here.

    • Charles

      I never have looked for a had out 15 years underground then I got laid off by somedumb ass in the whitehouse not in the mines now but working yes its a waste but maybe jim will use the money to fight for coal I think he likes electricity

  • Brian

    That site had been "picked at" for several years- since the "world class hospital" was announced. Maybe one or two pieces of equipment running at a time, when Justice felt like paying them. But announce a professional sports complex and things get done!!!! And in a matter of months!!.

    Where is the hospital? Why has it disappeared?

    How can you, JIM JUSTICE, sleep at night knowing you use the people and politicians of that area?

  • Cigarman

    I hope the contractors get paid.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Way to go Jimmy! You did it the WV way. You bought & sold the hoes down under the Dome so to give you $25 mill by handing out some comps to a golf course, resort, casino, etc.

    God Bless the WV way!

    I'm Jim N Daytona Beach

    • CaptainQ

      If Senator Robert C. Byrd were still alive, he'd got a Federal grant to pay for the ENTIRE project!

      Now THAT'S the WV way, Jim!

      (P.S. why didn't Rockefeller and Manchin 'find' some Federal money to fund this)

    • Shea Watt

      R U running L8 or or did you mean we'd c u L8R?

  • leroy

    big louisiana connection, jase robertson and the saints?

  • Derek

    So glad to see how much our tax dollars are going for jobs especially in southern WV some parents can't even feed their kids. Hope the governor and state enjoy this crap. Big pile of it too. They need to ride down 52 and see how much development is going on.

    • The bookman

      What amount of money would make a difference down 52? What development will employ those who are struggling? How many jobs have been saved due to the entrepreneurial risk of Jim Justice? The tax credits will be money well spent. Ask the people of Greenbrier County and Southeastern WV in 10 years if it was money well spent. Nothing against those along Rte 52, but development that creates jobs and provides the seeds that bring hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment cannot be passed over because Jim Justice is a rich guy.

  • MT

    What a waste!!

    If we have to spend OUR tax dollars, for the love of GOD lets spend it on some real industry that can provide good paying jobs with benefits and some future. I understand the ponit of tax breaks but really can't our leadership find a better way to invest in the future of our yonger generation.

    Why is this so hard here in southern WV??


      MT, you are critical of and effort by JJ to create a new industry in the area, but you offer no alternative industry that you think could succeed. Why?

      The coal industry is shrinking fast. Those people need opportunities for work and will ultimately have to leave the area - possibly for North Carolina. New hires in NC are not going to make much more than $10-15 there. The industry JJ is attempting to create, aided by WV tax breaks, looks to be paying that rate. Why would any WVian drive past this new opportunity in southern WV to relocate in NC? Why would you object to this joint venture of JJ with the aid of the state?