LATROBE, Pa. (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Thursday that for the second year in a row, they will not be holding their Training Camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.
The Steelers organization says that the NFL denied their plan to hold the training camp there due to COVID-19 protocols.READ MORE: South Side Man Accused Of Beating His Mother To Death
Saint Vincent College President Fr. Paul Taylor, O.S.B. has released this statement:
“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. 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.”
Instead, Training Camp will be held at Heinz Field and the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in July.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 24, 2021
The Steelers say that they have plans to host fans at training camp practices at Heinz Field and will elaborate on how they will make that happen once their practice schedule is finalized.
The Steelers plans to return to Latrobe for their traditional summer training camp in 2022. The organization has held training camp at Saint Vincent for 54 years, until the pandemic.
After the news came down, business owners in Labtrobe are lamenting another missed opportunity.READ MORE: Spirit Airlines Issues Continue At Pittsburgh International Airport And Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
“It helps our business. … We even have had Steelers in years past sit in our salon,” said salon owner Angela Rosebosky.
Rosebosky’s hair salon took a hit last year when the Steelers were forced to keep training camp in Pittsburgh. She certainly wasn’t alone.
“It’s probably a 30 to 40 percent increase just during Steelers camp,” said Dino DeCario, owner of Dino’s. “The sad thing is it’s normally a big deal for my employees. Also, it’s not just about Dino’s, everybody does well.”
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DeCario said businesses adapted last year, but a second year without Steelers fans in town is more than a dollars and cents thing.
“We take pride in camp,” he said. “Go anywhere in the country, people will say, ‘That’s where the Steelers hold training camp.'”
Steelers fans will still get to watch the team at Heinz Field but some say it’s just not the same.
“I was devastated. We didn’t get to go last year,” said Matt Tilson. “I just love to be around the whole atmosphere, the fans, you can get really close to them down there. And that’s gone this year.”
Tilson and other hops the pandemic won’t impact preseason and regular-season games.
“I just really hope we can go to the games. There’s nothing like 68,000 Steelers fans,” he said.MORE NEWS: Longtime AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Has Died, Sen. Chuck Schumer Says
The Steelers “plan” on having Heinz Field at full capacity for preseason and regular games.