Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced last week that their 2020 training camp will take place at Heinz Field and not Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. That announcement wasn’t a huge surprise, however, and neither is the team’s announcement on Tuesday that they will not be hosting their annual Friday Night Lights practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium this summer.
It was already assumed that the Steelers annual Friday Night Lights practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium would not take place this summer due to coronavirus pandemic concerns and team spokesman Burt Lauten made it official on Tuesday via a tweet. The process of the team holding that annual Friday night practice at the local area Latrobe high school usually includes busing the players to and from Saint Vincent College and obviously that wasn’t going to happen this summer with the team having their training camp at Heinz Field.
The only thing fans can hope for now is that maybe a practice or two at Heinz Field will ultimately be made open to the public. Going on a few years now, the team usually has one Sunday night Fan Fest practice at Heinz Field during training camp. There has been no official word yet from the team if any such practices open to the public will take place this summer. For now, it’s probably a good bet that such a thing won’t happen.
While the Steelers first scheduled preseason game of 2020 against the Dallas Cowboys in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH is still on course to be played, the prospects of that ultimately happening seemingly took a big blow on Tuesday thanks to what Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said during a press conference.
“As much as I hate to say this, because we’ve all been looking forward to that and I know how much it means to the Canton area and the Stark County area and really across the country, it’s a great event that we’ve been looking forward to, [but ] having a crowd that size is highly unlikely,” DeWine said Tuesday when asked about the possibility of the Hall of Fame Game being played in Canton, OH in early August. “Certainly, it could not occur today. It would be very dangerous to do it today.
“Again, we have to see where we are at that point, but that’s a large crowd, a lot of people together. These are the things that we’ve talked about all the way through this as we open Ohio up and we get back to work and we get back to doing the things that we like, probably the last things that are going to be able to be open are the big crowds, particularly when you have big crowds that are close together. So, we have to continue to look at it and make decisions as we move forward, but if the question was, ‘could that even occur today?’ the answer would be, ‘no.'”
We’ll now sit and wait to see if the NFL ultimately cancels the Hall of Fame Game and induction ceremonies scheduled for that same weekend soon. One would think that the NFL will need to make a final decision on the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame events in Canton, OH by July 1.