LATROBE (KDKA) – The devil is still in the details when it comes to guaranteeing a full Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season, except for the Hall of Fame Game which has already fallen victim to the nearly five-month lockout.
In Latrobe, a done deal would be music to the ears of local businesses.
The practice field at St. Vincent College is ready and waiting for the thundering herd. The fences and tents are up, the equipment has been delivered and KDKA-TV’s Mary Robb Jackson was told that some members of the Steelers’ staff were spotted on campus Sunday.
However, will players show up for training camp’s start date on Wednesday?
The ink isn’t quite dry on the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement. The teams’ player representatives have to give the go-ahead, then nearly 2,000-players need to cast their ballots.
Training camp is critical for places like Sharky’s Cafe, which is fan favorite.
“A great stimulus to the local economy in Latrobe,” Manager Ben McMurdy said. “A lot of people depend on it. You know it’s our money-maker. It’s our Christmas.”
Just a little farther down Route-30 at Dino’s Sports Bar, the bottom line would miss Steeler traffic too.
“It means a great deal here,” General Manager Ron Auld said. “We get a lot of people that spend their vacations actually to watch the Steelers.”
Business owners do wish it could have been settled sooner so that people could make plans.
According to the Steelers website, training camp at Latrobe has been an annual ritual for some 20,000 fans since 1967.
With the 2011 season so tantalizing close, nobody wants to see a fumble.