LATROBE, Pa. (KDKA) — The severe weather that moved through western Pennsylvania on Friday did not stop Steelers’ fans from lining up at Latrobe Memorial Stadium for the team’s annual night practice.
Mother Nature had her own plans though.
The stadium had to be evacuated at one point due to lightning. The team left the field and fans were told to leave the metal bleachers and find shelter until the severe weather passed over. Many went to their cars, while other waited under overhangs and the concession area.
After about 15 minutes they were allowed back into the stands.
Fans started lining up around 10 a.m., and by the time the gates opened 5 p.m., thousands were waiting to get in.
“It doesn’t surprise me. It’s Steelers Nation, the best fanbase in the world,” said Steelers rookie running back James Conner.
Steelers’ fans always come from near and far to take in the annual Friday night practice under the lights of Latrobe Memorial Stadium.
One family made the drive from Philadelphia.
“We made the trip, drove about four-and-a-half hours, hoping the rain would hold off and we made it. First training camp experience overall, looking to have a good time, going for number seven,” said Chris, a fan from Philadelphia.
The players started coming out onto the field around 7 p.m. to sign autographs and take photos with fans.
“It’s incredible just being up here in Latrobe and seeing the fan support anywhere I go, it’s awesome,” said T.J. Watt, a Steelers rookie.
“It’s a night practice and we get to see our fans and interact with them. Everybody is always excited about tonight,” Cam Heyward said.
And fans are very optimistic for the season.
“I’m ready for the season, when everything goes down, Pittsburgh’s going to get that seventh Super Bowl ring,” Indio Rosario , a Steelers fan.