WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — This is another big week for the Greenbrier Resort as the New Orleans Saints are set to open three weeks of training camp Friday at their new facility.

Construction crews have been feverishly finishing construction on three practice fields and 55,000-square foot multi-use building.

The Saints players are scheduled to report Thursday with the first practices scheduled for Friday. There will be two practices a day nearly every day for three weeks. The final Greenbrier practices are scheduled for Aug. 13. The Saints will travel to New Orleans Aug. 14 and resume camp at their own facility on Aug. 17.

MORE: Saints practice schedule

Greenbrier owner Jim Justice will eventually receive help from the state on the project—about $25 million worth of help.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the Tourism Development Act into law in March, a law making tax credits available for Justice and others creating tourism projects. Justice plans to use the credit on the Saints project. The deal has its critics, but state Commerce secretary Keith Burdette said the measure requires Justice to meet certain provisions before he can capitalize on the tax break.

“In addition to what (the Saints) do, he has to qualify additional days for other events throughout the year,” Burdette said.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was on hand when the bill was signed into law. He said at the time he was looking forward to spending part of the preseason in West Virginia. He also predicted a good fan experience.

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

Burdette said the Saints project is a good example of how tax credits can work and should remain a tool for the state.

“West Virginia has made enormous progress, we can’t afford to unilaterally disarm now,” Burdette said. “We need to be competitive. We’ve finally got people paying attention to us and people who don’t have to be here. They can be anywhere.”

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  • Alum

    Having read through these posts I am struck by an old proverb, without a vision the people perish.

    There sure seems to be a lot of folks perishing based on a number of the comments posted here.

    And Ron, well said.

  • 1olewvufan

    The World could use a lot more JJ's!!!

    BTW: White Sulphur Springs is one of my favorite places. I love camping and fishing on Blue Bend on Anthony Creek.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    JJ lost 10m on the golf , he loses that every year . He also make up the difference every year with a personal check . He lowered the ticket price to 60$ this year (golf tournament and 1 concert ) so it could be affordable to all of West Va . Additionally Saints practices are free to the public . He also plans to invite Wvu , Va Tech and Marshall to conduct a portion of their spring practices at the new site . He doesn't have to do any of this . He also has specials on room rates at the hotel exclusively for Va and WV residences . He doesn't have to do this . He also coaches both mens and women's high school basketball in the winter . He doesn't have to do this . He could go to Fla like most millionaires during the winter and relax . JJ is reinvesting his time and money back into the great state of WV to make it a better place to live . He doesn't have to do this .

    • Cigarman

      I hope he pays the contractors!

    • Guardian

      Very well stated, Ron. Jim Justice is going above and beyond in trying to make positive things happen in WV, but more importantly he is providing employment for folks in that part of the state that would not have many other opportunities. Jim is very creative and not afraid to go outside the box and try something different. We need more Jim Justices in this state.

    • jeco

      Disney built sport facilities in Orlando it has turned into a national draw. Mr. Justice is a smart man who seized the moment and has just parlayed this great project and bump started it with the Saints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jason

    Tax money to build football field. That's great, that will really help out the people that have to work for a living to feed a family. Greenbeir has a casino. Use that money. Just how much money did the greenbeir make or lose on this years golf tournament?

    • The bookman

      He did use his money to build the facility. And it will mean something to someone who works for a living to feed their family, as the venture will employ people who need a job or want to keep the one they have. IF the venture turns a profit, Justice MAY qualify for a tax credit not to exceed 5M over 10 years. If it doesn't, he gets nothing for his investment from the state. What is so difficult to understand about this?

  • JTC

    No wonder we rank near the bottom in all categories nationwide, including happiness, this is a POSITIVE development, let it play out. I can see a Dree Bree's QB camp here in the future and who knows what else may come our way. Why not once be positive about NEW happenings in WV. And if it does not work out blame Obama like always.lol

  • Rob T.

    Great people of West Virginia!
    We should be embracing anything that brings positive vibes to the state! Here is a gentlemen from our state, spending money in our state to better our state! With the ever expanding NFL who know maybe this could lead to some preseason action at Laidley Field in the future? With all the bad that happens, it would be nice if we tried to see thi opportunity as a positive one for a of us! Directly or indirectly!

    • Will

      From what I've read he doesn't pay his bills, at least not in a timely manner, so it's more like he's spending other people's money.....
      A preseason game at Laidley? That will never happen. At WVU or MU maybe, but even that is unlikely. The NFL teams charge their season ticket holders for the two home preseason games. So if the Saints sell 40,000 season tickets a year, they would have to sell 40,000 tickets to a local preseason game at those prices to break even. So I guess that even knocks out a game at MU. Then at WVU the people in that part of the state can go to a preseason game at Pittsburgh only an hour or so further and see a team they likely root for anyway. If the Saints ever play a local preseason game around here, the most logical choice would be at VaTech.

  • Keith

    Texas an
    d New York are now the number 1and 2 fastest growing states in new business thanks in no little part to the tax breaks. Louisiana is now considered Hollywood South. That two became established thru the states tax break programs. This is a great deal and a great pairing. The Saints are a very popular team worldwide and will bring a lot of excitement to the area over. The next 3 years. Things will intensify each year. This is a win win.

  • Aaron

    It would be helpful if those griping about this particular tax credit actually knew what they were talking about. The recipient of this tax credit first establishes a base year of taxes and then in subsequent years, one that amount of revenue is achieved, the reciepents then gets to keep taxes until the annual credit is achieved. At no time does the state send ANY money of the reciepents of this tax credit.

    • The bookman

      Jim says that's not how they explained it at the Mensa meeting.

      • Aaron

        Other than the recipient established a base year of revenue of which taxes are based, that's how it was explained on Metro News by Jim Justice.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Oh boy I think I'll pea my pants over the AINTS

    Good job Jim. You are playiing the SUCKAS like a harp and buying the politicians like the gals on Summer Street

    All I got
    I'm Jim N So Charleston

    • Will

      L8 = Late. I think you mean L8R which would be later. I've see you do this a couple times now. LOL, if you know what that means.

    • Kevin


      You're an idiot.


  • Raging Moderate

    Seems like a good investment for everybody. A fairly safe investment in a project which will earn tax breaks for Mr Justice only if it turns out well. The state needs to invest in these kinds of things; the burden on the taxpayers will be even greater without it. If we don't move ahead, we will fall further behind.

  • George

    A little encouraging publicity for the State. Lord knows we certainly have had very little under the Obama puppets".......poor rankings,no jobs,no roads,no morals,taxes too high,gas too high,Governor who is afraid of the Feds, and a bunch of Obama puppets occupying Charleston, but other than that......, things are good,,,,,,,

    • Mike

      You just described West Virginia for the past 50 years. Don't think Obama's been around that long.

  • whatamoroon

    This facility will have hundreds of uses. In a couple of years I'm sure it will be hosting football camps of all types which will bring thousands of visitors to the Greenbrier valley. This is a top notch facility of its kind and I'm glad it's here in WV.

    • U SURE R

      U SURE R

  • Derek

    Carolina is down the rd a couple hrs. What about business this is a pork spending bill. Waste our money. With all the mines and industry slowing down A lot of us are having to leave this state to work. Thanks for wasting tax payers money.

    • Shadow

      There are a lot of folks that left the home place and found a job in another State that have come back with what they have saved. Money that would not be here is they hadn't got off their Duff and did something. Join the Crowd.

    • Mitch

      @ Derek,
      Thanks to you for not having a clue what you're talking about. We are now all dumber for having read your post.

      • Derek

        Explain it genius Mitch I think this is a waste of money,you can't tell me you think this a grand idea well you probably do. We have no major industry other than mining and manufacturing that supports mining in southern WV. We can't compete with VA when it comes to business sense brainchild it's a good ole boys club and the citizens are left out.

        • The bookman

          In all fairness, Mitch makes a good point. I think if I could remove 80 points from my IQ, I would be better equipped to follow your two posts. Develop your thoughts. And then write some coherent sentences.

    • ViennaGuy

      Tell me again, how much taxpayer money is being spent out of state coffers for this?

  • John

    What will the economic impact be? That is, how many jobs will be created that allow west Virginians to earn a liveable wage and with these tax credits how much is lost to other services such as education, highways, health care? I know millionaire football players and a billionaire owner will benefit greatly, but what will be the impact on west Virginians?

    • FaarOut

      Profeesional sports teams historically do not contribute direct revenue to the hosting communities... ask any Florida town that provided taxpayer funded facilities for MLB. There are those who tout that money spent by tourists will exceed the tax money allocated. The reality is that it never does! There is always hope, I suppose, that former N'Orleans mayor Nagin will arrange bus transportation for the 9th Ward folks to visit us. Tell me again about WV's low crime rate.

    • Shadow

      You answered your own question! Millionaire Football Players will see a very pretty part of WV that they may never have seen. Maybe, they will bring their money. And tell friends. The phrase, West, by God, Virginia, was developed because WV was unknown and this is one way to help that situation.

  • CaptainQ

    Our WV taxpayer dollars (and tax BREAKS) at work! Enjoy!

    • Mason County Contrarian

      I guess state government believes that the Middle Class well never runs dry.

      How nice it would be to have a state legislature and governor who has the Middle Class in its best interests.

      From my view, they don't. Enjoy the ride Mr. Justice and the handful of New Orleans fans, compliments of West Virginia taxpayers.

    • The bookman

      The bill requires a net income produced to realize the tax credit, as well as employment parameters to be met. Yes, I agree the project more than likely happens without the state involvement, but it is a net positive to the state. The state would receive less revenue had this project not occur. An entrepreneur with less means is no more entitled for development tax credits than a billionaire like Justice. And if the project fails, and doesn't produce any revenue to the state, the state loses nothing and Justice loses his investment. Where is the downside for the people of West Virginia?

      • Mike

        There is none. Even out of state clowns that put WV down, can't do it in regards to having a PGA event, and the Saints holding practice here. It makes us look good, even to a Steelers fan.

      • ViennaGuy