LATROBE (KDKA) — It is one of the most anticipated events of Steelers Training Camp.
Night Practice is a chance for fans from both near and far to get up close and personal with the players.
Fans lined up early at Latrobe Memorial Stadium looking for the best spots for the Steelers Night Practice.
Allison Harrell and her family drove up from Mississippi.
It’s not their first trip to Training Camp. In fact, her first came under much different circumstances.
“My dad said that back in his time that you were either for the Cowboys or you were for the Steelers, and the Steelers were more the working man’s team, so he picked them. He passed away four years ago. And I was diagnosed with melanoma five years ago, so as soon as I was diagnosed I got my boys and we drove to Pittsburgh. If I died, I wanted them to love what I love,” said Harrell. “I wanted them to have something that I loved, and so we came, and we drove and we drove, and we went home about 14 days later and went back and faced it and fought it and beat it, and we’re back now again.”
Thousands of diehard Steelers fans showed up to get a look at their favorite players. And to get autographs.
“When they bring the players in on the school bus and you see them from a distance and they come up and sign autographs for the kids, it’s unbelievable,” said Shawn Cooper, of Virginia.
One fan even brought a bottle of Head and Shoulders for Troy Polamalu to sign.
But Night Practice isn’t just about the football; it’s also about giving back.
The team holds a food drive to benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank.
“It brings attention to the fact that there are people right here in our community,” said Louise Wilhelm, of the Westmoreland County Food Bank. “We are very thankful that the Steelers allow us to do this at this event. A whole lot of people come out to this every year.”
The Steelers will have another Night Practice on Aug. 14. That one starts at 5:30 p.m. at Saint Vincent College and is a joint practice with the Buffalo Bills.