Last summer the Pittsburgh Steelers held training camp at Heinz Field, marking the first time in more than a half-century that the team did not go to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe for camp. In the time since, Steelers team president Art Rooney II has repeatedly spoken about a desire to return to Saint Vincent College. But it won’t be happening in 2021.
On Thursday morning the Steelers announced that this year’s training camp will be “split between Heinz Field and the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.”
“We are disappointed we won’t be holding our 2021 Training Camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.,” offered Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten in a statement. “We were prepared to safely host Training Camp on campus with fans, but unfortunately our plan was not approved due to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.”
The Steelers do plan to host fans this year for a “select number of practices” at Heinz Field, though the dates and times of those practices have not yet been finalized.
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Back to Saint Vincent College in 2022?
In today’s official statement, the Steelers took care to emphasize that the team plans to return to Saint Vincent College next summer, saying, “We appreciate the support of Saint Vincent College and the Latrobe community, and we look forward to returning to campus in 2022.”
“We are disappointed in the NFL’s and NFLPA’s decision regarding training camp, as one of our favorite annual traditions is welcoming the Steelers and their fans to campus,” said Saint Vincent College President Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., in a statement of his own. “The Steelers are an important part of the Saint Vincent community, and we look forward to welcoming the team and fans back next summer. As they begin the 2021 season, we pray for the health and safety of the entire organization and Steelers fans around the world, as well as an end to this pandemic.”
Steelers to Report to Camp on July 21?
As for when the Steelers will arrive in camp, that date has yet to be announced. Most NFL teams are expected to report to training camp on July 27, but the Steelers the Dallas Cowboys can begin as early as July 21, as they are facing off in the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame game, which will take place on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 5. The two teams were originally scheduled to play last summer, but the matchup was postponed due to the pandemic.
Four Steelers will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend of Aug. 7-8, namely, Troy Polamalu, Donnie Shell, Bill Cowher and Alan Faneca. The late Bill Nunn, aka ‘The Dynasty Builder,’ will also be honored that weekend; he was posthumously enshrined during a special ceremony in April.
Troy Polamalu has selected former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to be his Hall of Fame presenter, while Faneca has chosen former teammate Hines Ward. Donnie Shell will be presented by his daughter, April Nicole Shell, while Bill Cowher will be announced by Steelers owner Art Rooney II.
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