Pittsburgh Steelers’ team president Art Rooney II issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, confirming the team will not hold training camp at St. Vincent College at Latrobe this summer. That comes per an NFL mandate to have each team practice at their home facility. For the Steelers, that’ll be the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side.
Rooney did confirm the team’s goal to return to Latrobe in 2021, the only bit of good news in his statement.
“We are disappointed for our fans and the city of Latrobe that we will not be able to hold our annual training camp at Saint Vincent College in 2020, but we are adhering to the policies and guidelines set forth from the NFL for teams that travel from their facilities each year.
We look forward to returning to training camp at Saint Vincent College in 2021.”
That will officially break a 54 year streak of the team practicing in Latrobe, beginning in 1964 and running through 2019. It will mark the first time the Steelers have held training camp in Pittsburgh since 1937, when they practiced in South Park for three years.
As Rooney noted, the loss is big for fans and the city of Latrobe, which depends on camp to boost local businesses. It’s doubly devastating in a year where so many small businesses and restaurants have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus.
While the team hasn’t released any other camp information, it’s highly unlikely fans will be allowed to attend camp. Not only from a health and safety standpoint but a logistical standpoint, too. Perhaps the team could hold a Heinz Field practice as they have the last several years, keeping them in Pittsburgh while providing a big stadium for fans to be spaced out in.