Earlier today the NFL announced the cancellation of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, delaying the start of the NFL preseason for at least a week. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys will again be matched up next summer in the 2021 Hall of Fame Game, which will be contested on August 5, 2021, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also affected by today’s announcement are former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, who were scheduled to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 8. Instead, both are now scheduled to be enshrined on Aug. 7, 2021.
Former Steelers safety Donnie Shell—a member of the special Centennial Hall of Fame Class—is expected to be inducted in a separate ceremony in August 2021. Shell’s group was originally scheduled to be enshrined on Sept. 17, 2020.
‘Twice the Fun in ’21’
“The health and safety of our Hall of Famers, fans and volunteers who make Enshrinement Week so special remains our top priority,” said David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the above-linked statement. “The Hall will honor the Centennial Class of 2020 next August, along with what promises to be an equally spectacular Class of 2021, as part of a multi-day celebration of football with an atmosphere that will deliver for fans ‘Twice the Fun in ’21.’”
Fans who purchased tickets for the 2020 Hall of Fame Game can retain those tickets and use them next year, or they can request a refund.
The postponement of this year’s enshrinement ceremonies means that Polamalu, Cowher and Shell could conceivably be enshrined alongside another Pittsburgh Steeler or two after the Class of 2021 is selected early next year.
In the meantime, the Pro Football Hall of Fame remains open to the public. It reopened two weeks ago after being closed for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Training Camp at Heinz Field: Postponed
The cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game also means that Mike Tomlin and the Steelers will report to training camp at least six days later than expected.
Initially the Steelers were slated to arrive at camp on July 22, but now the team won’t report to Heinz Field until July 28—or later.
Cowboys and Steelers had been scheduled to report to training camp July 22 – six days ahead of most other NFL teams – because of the Hall of Fame game. But now their reporting date will be pushed back; question is whether others will, too.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 25, 2020
The shift in training camp venue—from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. to Heinz Field—is already a major departure for the team, which has held camp in Latrobe every year except this one since 1966. The Steelers do expect to return to Saint Vincent College for training camp in 2021.
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