Eagles Leaving Lehigh U., Holding Training Camp In Philly - KMSP-TV

Eagles Leaving Lehigh U., Holding Training Camp In Philly

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PHILADELPHIA -

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Friday morning that the team will not hold training camp at Lehigh University this year, as they have for 17 years running.

Instead, they'll hold camp in Philadelphia this summer both at the NovaCare Complex and at Lincoln Financial Field.

The vast majority of practices were open to the public at Lehigh. That will no longer be the case. The team will now only open a select number practices to the public. The rest will be open to the media or for the team only.

"The new training camp plan will include a number of free, public practices at Lincoln Financial Field along with private practices (invitation only) at the NovaCare Complex," the team said in a statement Friday morning. "The full training camp schedule will be released later this spring."

The Eagles say they're the 21st NFL team to move practices to their own facilities "as the demands of practice make it more and more difficult to replicate what the teams have at their practice facilities."

Team President Don Smolenski was quoted in the news release as saying that the decision was a very difficult one for the entire organization.

It's a big move for the Eagles, and they say the reason they're bringing camp home is logistics.

The facilities and resources they have here in South Philadelphia, really can't be duplicated anywhere else – not even Lehigh.

Those facilities include the training room, hydrotherapy pool, an MRI machine, state-of-the-art weight rooms, an indoor practice venue and video and computer equipment utilizing network infrastructure.

It's the first summer in the city for the Birds since 1943, when practice was held at St. Joseph's University.

Other past training camp venues have included West Chester University (1980-95), Widener University (1973-79), Albright College (1968-72) and in Hershey, PA (1951-67).

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter weighed in on the move Friday. To hear what he had to say, click here.

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