Cortland (WSYR-TV) - SUNY Cortland is giving people a chance to go to the Super Bowl.
Whether they make it to the big game or not, the New York Jets have donated two Super Bowl tickets to the school, which is the home of the team’s training camp.
The college, in turn, has decided to raffle 500 tickets at $100 a piece.
SUNY Cortland has held the raffle each year since the Jets began holding camp there In 2009 and it’s become a big hit . The winners so far do not reside in Cortland, although they have a connection to the school.
“It was a $100 ticket. I thought it was a great opportunity. Never, ever, ever thought I would win. I’m not a huge football fan so it was more supporting the college,” said Joe Vallo, the first contest winner.
Vallo’s winning ticket landed him at the Super Bowl in Miami, where he watched the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. His Super Bowl tickets gave him seats 15 rows back and were valued at over a $1,000 each.
"You had a special pass and everything. It was unbelievable,” Vallo said.
The Jets had come up one win short of the Super Bowl, but their donation still was a victory for the school. Its foundation pulled in $50,000 to be used mostly for student scholarships, and the relationship doesn’t stop there.
“They provide us 50 internships. We have kids working there during the summer in marketing, sports management, athletic training. They do all kinds of promotion for us at their stadium. They do alumni events…we had a coaches event where they came,” said SUNY Cortland Public Relations Director Fred Pierce.
Vallo admires the kinship the Jets have with the school.
“There’s a relationship. It’s not just they come up here and train, it’s they come up there and they want to give to this college and they want to be in partnership with this college and, as a result, the students, alum, and college itself benefit from it,” Vallo said.
The raffle is open to anyone until all the tickets are gone. Tickets and more information are available from the school’s website.