Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II was interviewed by Bob Labriola of Steelers.com following the release of the team’s 2021 schedule on Wednesday. Labriola asked Rooney about having training camp at Saint Vincent College this summer after it was cancelled there last year for the first time since 1965 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wish I could say it’s a done deal,” Rooney said about the Steelers possibly having their training camp at Saint Vincent College in 2021. “(Having training camp at Saint Vincent) is certainly Plan A for us. That’s what we’re planning for, but unfortunately there still are some issues we’ve got to iron out, and some of them have to do with the Players Association and discussions about training camp and COVID protocols and all of that.
“But really the big thing is we hope people continue to get vaccinated, because that’s going to be our best route to getting back to normal, both for training camp and during the regular season, and so we’re optimistic.
“Things are trending in the right direction, that’s for sure, and our plan at this point is to have training camp at Saint Vincent.”
Rooney went on to say that if fans are not allowed at training camp this year, he’s not sure the team would go to Saint Vincent College. Last week, the NFL sent a memo to teams saying they will be permitted to go away for training camp in 2021, subject to league approval. Last year, all camps had to be at team facilities and stadiums because of the COVID restrictions laid out.
In short, it sounds like there’s a good chance the Steelers will be back at Saint Vincent College for training camp later this summer. Rooney had previously indicated in late March that the team is expected to return there this summer.
On top of Rooney’s training camp comments, he also reportedly talked about the league’s full plan to have full capacity at stadiums this year.
“We’re planning on having full capacity. The trends are all headed in the right direction, and we’re excited about getting our fans back in the stadium,” Rooney said. “Again, I just encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to go out and get vaccinated. That’s the best way for everything to get back to normal.
“We’re still in a situation where we have to be prepared to adjust, and certainly we will be, but where things stand today, and the way things are trending we feel good about being about as close to normal by August as possible. We’re looking forward to being pretty close to back to normal by then.”