Reporting John Shumway
Filed underFootball, Local, News, NFL, Steelers, Syndicated Local, Syndicated Sports, Watch + Listen
LATROBE (KDKA) — Latrobe Memorial Stadium under the lights, it’s a night the Steelers look forward to.
“It’s awesome, going back to that Friday night atmosphere, and it gets the juices going,” said Steelers linebacker Larry Foote.
“You’re trying to show off, that’s why you do it,” said Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor. “You’re doing it for the fans.”
But this year, things are a little different because the stadium’s turf has caught a disease.
“Our grounds crews and their grounds crew worked together to try to remedy the problem, but it’s just not ready for play at this point,” said Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert.
Players could get hurt, so the Friday night’s practice will be at Saint Vincent College.
“That’s always fun, to take a road trip on those old yellow school buses, but I think coach is doing what’s best for us,” said Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel.
The buses will be running, only they will be for fans who want to still park at Latrobe Stadium and ride to Saint Vincent’s campus.
It’s also free to fans, just like any other training camp practice.
Also, fans don’t have to wait till practice time to arrive. The Latrobe Steelers Fan Fest will open at noon and run through 5 p.m.
“We will have our merchandising tents, so there will be things to do beginning at noon here on campus,” said Burt Lauten, of the Steelers.
But you will want to head for the fences from the locker room around the field to be in place for the autograph session.
“Our players will spread out,” he said. “The big names will spread out, so there will be plenty of opportunities for the fans to get autographs.”
But it will be earlier than normal this year.
“The autograph session will start at 5 and practice at 5:20,” said Colbert. “We had to move it up to take advantage of the daylight because we don’t have the stadium lights to supplement it.”
Once practice is over, Latrobe’s own Saddle Up will be playing on the softball field and they’ll play for about an hour.
It’ll be a bridge between practice and dark because the night ends with Zambelli fireworks.