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NFL lockout: Small businesses begin to sweat

NFL lockout could mean smaller revenues for businesses that rely on training camps. NFL lockout would have to last seven more weeks to begin affecting training camp.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (right) throws as wide receiver Victor Cruz looks on during an unofficial football workout at Bergen Catholic High School, June 10, 2011, in Oradell, N.J. Fifteen NFL teams hold training camps in cities away from their own base, a boon to businesses in those cities. This year, the NFL lockout threatens those revenues.

Julio Cortez/AP

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MINNEAPOLIS – Jake's Stadium Pizza has been a fast-food fixture on the Minnesota State University campus for nearly four decades. This summer, they're cooking that thin crust with crossed fingers in Mankato, Minn.

The NFL lockout, now headed toward its fourth month, is threatening a revenue-driving, profile-raising event for this small, family-owned business: Vikings training camp.

"We're hoping they get it done, because it's not just us. It's the whole state that will suffer," said Wally Boyer, the owner of the joint where players from Jim Marshall to John Randle have recuperated after many a draining workout. Fans, too, have long made that familiar walk down Stadium Road after watching practice to fill up and cool off.

If the work stoppage lingers long enough to keep teams holding traditional training camps, the hit would be felt far beyond Minnesota, and it wouldn't just be about losing money.

In upstate New York, the Jets have trained on the SUNY Cortland campus the last two years.


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