Preparing St. John Fisher College for Bills training camp begins before the previous year’s camp concludes.

“The ground work starts getting laid as we starts leaving last year’s training camp as it’s still fresh in our mind,” said director of training camp operations, Dr. Todd Harrison. “It’s a 12 month thing that really starts ramping up March 1st.”

When fans arrive at Fisher for the first Bills camp session on Saturday, July 30th, they’ll immediately notice the new souvenir stand at the front entrance.

“The merchandise tent is probably the biggest thing I get asked about,” said Harrison. “Still one story, but it’s a much more permanent-looking structure and with more space for merchandise.” 

Another new touch are the permanent bathrooms under the bleachers at Growney Stadium. It’s all part of a training camp setting that is compact and efficient for both fans and players.

“Our campus is pretty small and everything is a pretty small footprint,” said Harrison. “Coach Ryan said that on his first trip that the weightroom to the locker room to the dining hall to the dorms is only a few hundred steps, so that proximity and that sort of intimacy of campus really lends itself well to the fan operation and also just the football operation.”

2016 marks the 16th year that the Bills have used SJF as their home for training camp.
“We are a very good partner for the Bills,” said Harrison. “We are willing and interested in fostering that relationship. We can meet the needs that they have.”
Harrison is also an assistant professor in St. John Fisher’s sports management department. Having an NFL training camp on his campus in an invaluable teaching tool for Fisher students.
“To have a few thousand people on campus, year after year at a time when people aren’t on college campuses is amazing marketing for the college,” said Harrison. “For the department, it’s a chance for us to practice what we would teach our students for the eight months of the year when we are in the classroom.”