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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  • Randy

    It is a big plus for the state. Might be a bit of culture shock for the players used to $1000 an hour call girls who could be in Playboy. But I'm sure loneliness will soon make them appreciate our $14 a night ladies in waiting with the added benefit of meth rotted teeth at no extra charge.

  • cutty77

    This is Major Move The State. It doesn't get any stronger than The NFL.

  • Robert

    It's kinda ugly.

  • Danny

    Are you negative people crazy? The Saints coming to the Greenbrier is awesome! It's creating more jobs in WV. Hopefully, Jim Justice will bid on hosting the West Virginia State Football Championship and host it every year. How awesome would it be to say you played on a field where Drew Brees and others have played? Jim Justice has done an incredible job providing jobs for WV families. Anything he builds to make WV look great is awesome. Bubba Watson, Jerry West, Nick Faldo amongst many others have invested in Greenbrier property for a reason. That reason is because Jim knows how to treat guests and gives them a superior service that can't be matched. Keep working hard Jim, I'm behind you and most West Virginians should be too!

  • Panhandle

    Let's all give it a chance and see where it goes. Give it a chance.

  • 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.