Another New York City professional sports team is considering training in the Capital District. Just don't expect to attend any practices.
The National Basketball Association's New York Knicks are looking to move their one-week preseason training camp out of Charleston, S.C., and Saratoga Springs' Skidmore College is one of the venues the team is interested in, a team official confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
I think they liked what they saw, said Skidmore athletic director Gail Cummings-Danson. "At that point, they knew they wanted to come back to New York, but they were looking at other facilities, too. I know Lake Placid was one of them."
Cummings-Danson said the fact that Skidmore made the Knicks' list may be a credit to two team officials who have Capital District connections.
"Their director of operations is Jamie Mathews, who worked at Siena College. And Jason Vogel (vice president of sports team operations) grew up in Glens Falls," said Cummings-Danson.
If the Knicks choose Skidmore, they will be following the lead of the National Football League's New York Giants, who will begin their 13th year of holding their preseason training camp at the University at Albany this summer. But unlike the Giants, the Knicks will likely keep their practice sessions closed to the public.
"They're here to do a job " not to say the Giants aren't, but they're here to do a job," said Cummings-Danson, who worked at the University at Albany for 12 years before coming to Skidmore three years ago and has been through 10 Giants training camps. "They're only up here for a week, instead of three and a half weeks like the Giants."
Another difference between the two camps is when they would take place. The Giants occupy UAlbany from late July through the middle of August while the school is out of session, which allows the team to stay in one of the on-campus dorms. The Knicks would be in Saratoga Springs beginning Sept. 30 while Skidmore is in session, which means the players and coaches would have to stay in an area hotel. The only time the Knicks would be on campus is when they're practicing at the Sports and Recreation Center.