Earlier this offseason, the league announced that it will be requiring all teams to hold their training camps at their own facilities rather than traveling off-site. While this only affected fewer than a third of all teams in the league, one of those teams just so happens to be the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have been going to their off-site training camp facility in Latrobe longer than any other team short of the Green Bay Packers to theirs.
Instead of having training camp on the fields of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, it was announced that the team intends to hold practices instead at Heinz Field, the stadium at which they play. They typically hold one training camp practice there a year, so this isn’t exactly unprecedented.
But that raised the question of whether or not fans would still be able to be in attendance. Even if the league and teams were hoping for this to happen, they couldn’t definitely say that it would be allowed, because we still don’t know what the climate is going to be like a month or so from now as training camps begin to open.
This was a question posed to Gerry Dulac yesterday in a chat session, since many fans love to travel to Latrobe and watch practices. Our own Alex Kozora goes to every practice he can and covers it for the site for the benefit of those who cannot attend.
If Dulac is right, however, then expect to cancel any plans. It’s highly doubtful that even he knows anything definitive, but his answer was that fans would “absolutely not” be permitted to attend. Not only that, but “I’m not sure if the media will be allowed either”.
I don’t think it would be a shock to anyone necessarily to learn that fans won’t be permitted to attend training camp practices this year. it would require more headaches than it would probably be worth to the team to try to get people in compliance, wearing facemasks and things like that.
With even media members not attending, however, that is really going to change how training camp information is processed, if that is indeed the case. We will be reliant instead entirely upon the team’s own information that it provides, and that may or may not include the likes of Missi Matthews and Bob Labriola reporting themselves.
Remember, of course, to take this all with a grain of salt. This is not a report, but rather the opinion of one beat writer in a chat session, whom I’m sure many below will point out has often gotten things incorrect, even when seemingly being emphatic in his belief that he will be right about what he says.
But let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be at all shocking if what he suggests actually happens.