HARRISON, N.Y. - Monday nights just got better for Doni Fumarelli.
"If they didn't play, I would have nowhere to go on Monday nights," the Harrison resident said. "I'll go out to watch any live game. It's a big deal for me."
John Stubenvoll grew up playing football in Harrison and is a hometown co-owner of the Harrison Ale House on Halstead Avenue. He said the NFL deal saved his business from a slow fall season.
"Everyone's a fan," Stubenvoll said. "Football is a legendary tradition in Harrison. It's important to everyone. Bars and football go hand-in-hand."
The longest work stoppage in National Football League history ended Monday when players voted to approve a final deal that was approved by league owners last week, allowing teams to open their facilities to players as early as today with training camps opening Friday and Saturday.
After a nearly five-month lockout of players by the owners, both sides reached a deal that allows teams to begin signing rookies and free agents immediately. The 32 players representatives voted unanimously to approve the 10-year collective bargaining agreement.
The agreement came too late to save the annual Hall of Fame game between the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams scheduled for Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio. All scheduled preseason and regular season games will be played. The NFL regular season begins on September.
The NFL preseason begins the preseason with a slate of games on Aug. 11. The regular season opens with a matchup between New Orleans at Super Bowl champion Green Bay, Thursday Sept. 8.
Baltimore Ravens running back and New Rochelle High graduate Ray Rice hosted Ray Rice Day in New Rochelle in late June and was hopeful then that the season would open on time.
Im always working out and Ill be ready to go whenever things happen, Rice said four weeks ago. Players want to play.
Minnesota Vikings lineman Jimmy Kennedy, who played for Roosevelt High School in Yonkers and at Penn State, was happy to have his extended summer vacation end.
Ive been working on every day, just want to get back out there, Kennedy said. Ive been working out and trying to stay under the radar.
The New York Giants will open training camp Friday at their practice facility near the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and the New York Jets will open on Saturday at the training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.
E-mail town reporter Phil Corso at PCorso@TheDailyHarrison.com.
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