July 18, 2018
Saint Vincent College will extend its campus hospitality to the Pittsburgh Steelers players, coaches, staff and thousands of fans for the 53rd consecutive year this summer.
The College’s preparations for the Steelers’ upcoming summer training camp were previewed at a pre-camp media briefing at the Robert S. Carey Student Center lounge on July 18.
Celebrating a Long, Successful History
“We are proud of our long history with the Steelers,” said Saint Vincent College president Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., adding that the team first practiced on the Saint Vincent campus in 1966. “As we do each year, we are looking forward to welcoming the legions of fans who will attend this year’s camp, and in particular to continuing the Charity Walk to benefit the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research.
Steelers fans are welcome to attend a Mass scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Sunday, July 29, in Saint Vincent Basilica with Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., officiating. The Steelers players and staff have been invited and the general public may attend. No tickets or reservations are required.
Players will report to camp on Wednesday, July 25, and the first open practice for fans will be at 2:55 p.m. Thursday, July 26. The Steelers Experience will open at noon offering interactive games for children and adults.
Charity Walk Extends to Second Year
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, the Second Annual Steelers Charity Walk to benefit The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research will be held Saturday, July 28. Steelers Legend Merril Hoge will host fans for the two-mile walk, which will begin at 9 a.m. and will follow the Winnie Palmer Nature Trail on the Saint Vincent campus. The cost is $30 for basic registration, which includes a T-shirt. Registration and additional options are available at www.steelers.com/charitywalk. Packet pickup will start at 7 a.m. on July 28.
Fifteen Public Practices
There are 15 practices which are scheduled to be open to the public, 14 on the Saint Vincent campus, one at Latrobe Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3. Six of the practices at Saint Vincent are scheduled on weekends including three each on Saturdays and Sundays.
The complete schedule of public practices, all at 2:55 p.m. except for the evening practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium, is as follows: Thursday, July 26; Friday, July 27; Saturday, July 28; Sunday, July 29; Monday, July 30; Wednesday, Aug. 1; Thursday, Aug. 2; 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3 (Latrobe Memorial Stadium); Saturday, Aug. 4; Sunday, Aug. 5; Tuesday, Aug. 7; Wednesday, Aug. 8; Saturday, Aug. 11; Sunday, Aug. 12; Monday, Aug. 13; and Tuesday, Aug. 14.
Facilities Management Making Ready
The Saint Vincent College Facilities Management Office has been busy for weeks preparing for the Steelers’ arrival. “Our number-one goal is to welcome our visitors, including players, coaches, staff and fans, with Benedictine hospitality,” said Vicky Booth, assistant director of facility management. Members of the FMO staff including grounds crew, carpenters, electricians and other staff spend weeks installing fencing, signs, temporary walls, furniture, bedding and much more, so that the Steelers family can feel at home in their summer home, she added.
The Steelers Experience and Other Camp Features
Among the fun and family-oriented experiences offered through the Steelers Experience:
- Me and You and a Photo Booth Too tent – allowing fans to take photos against the backdrop of some favorite Steelers scenes.
- Look for Your Neighborhood Ford Store tent to register to win the Neighborhood Ford Store Truck Sweepstakes along with great giveaways. Stop by the Steelers-branded Ford F150 truck on display as the Official Truck of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Game Faces face painting – free to all fans
- FedEx Air & Ground Zone area – Allowing fans to time their performance, track their progress each day and show they are NFL ready! Fans will also have an opportunity to capture memorable photos with giant Steelers gloves, compare themselves with actual size player cutouts and the Steelers’ "How Do You Stack Up?" display.
- Play 60 Fun Zone – allows children in grades 1-12 to participate in the team's 2018 Training Camp. The Play 60 Fun Zone will include fun and exciting football-themed activities for 60 minutes each day the Steelers hold practice. Once access opens, children will be able to register for the Play 60 Fun Zone, which is limited to the first 200 registrants. The Play 60 Fun Zone will be located at the baseball field at the bottom of the steps of Carey Hall.
- The Steelers will host a youth football team each day at practice. The youth football squad will welcome the Steelers to the field each day while enjoying a skills clinic to celebrate Play Football month.
The Steelers official Pro Shop tent will also be open on every day of public practice, and those who spend $100 during the days of training camp will receive four complimentary tickets to Steelers Family Fest at Heinz Field on Sunday, Aug. 19.
Steelers Nation Unite
From noon to 6 p.m. daily, fans can stop by the Steelers Nation Unite Tent at the entrance of camp to spin the prize wheel for a chance to score prizes such as VIP on-field experiences, tickets to Steelers Family Fest on Aug. 19, a photo opportunity, and can pick up a team roster for the day’s practice. Fans can also visit www.steelersnationunite.com to become members, which carries benefits such as access to purchase exclusive memorabilia, presales for Steelers games and Heinz Field events and exclusive sweepstakes and contests.
Concessions, Bookstore and Mister Rogers Neighborhood Trolley Serve Fans
For the fans who visit camp, the College will have concessions near St. Benedict Hall, in the Steelers Experience area, next to the Steelers merchandise tent near the parking area and in the concession stand at Chuck Noll Field. The Shack snack bar inside the Robert S. Carey Student Center will also be open. Hours of operation for the concessions are 1 to 6 p.m. on practice days.
The concession near the merchandise tent will be selling ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips and water, while the Chuck Noll Field concession will have bottled water, Gatorade, nachos and cheese, ice cream, hot dogs and chips. The concession near St. Benedict Hall is a hydration station featuring bottled water, iced tea and Gatorade.
The Saint Vincent College Bookstore in the Robert S. Carey Student Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on days of public practice and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on days when there is no public practice, and Saint Vincent College’s Mister Rogers Neighborhood trolley will operate on campus throughout camp to provide tours of campus and transportation from parking areas.
Free Parking and Admission
The Steelers and Saint Vincent are again collaborating to offer campus visitors a welcoming hospitality with free parking and free admission. Visitors are welcome to sit in the bleachers of Chuck Noll Field or to bring folding chairs or blankets for seating around the perimeters of the fields outside the fencing. Picnic baskets and canned beverages are also welcome but no grills, alcohol, glass containers or animals other than service dogs will be permitted.
A new “Things to Do at Steelers Training Camp” blog, created by Alex Byers, assistant director of marketing and communications for digital media, features favorite photos from previous years: http://info.stvincent.edu/life-on-campus/things-to-do-steelers-camp.
A summer training camp logo, designed by George Fetkovich of the Saint Vincent College Office of Marketing and Communications, in collaboration with the Steelers and the National Football League, will again be displayed on campus, the trolley, rosters, schedules, the website and other places. Car window clings with the logo will be distributed to each visitor. Area businesses and other organizations that wish to join in the celebration and display the logo on their marquee or other public location may download the artwork from either the Pittsburgh Steelers website, www.steelers.com or the Saint Vincent College website, www.stvincent.edu. No merchandise displaying the training camp logo may be sold.
Steelers Fest and Night Practice at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe
The 7 p.m. “Friday Night Lights” practice set for Friday, Aug. 3, at Latrobe Memorial Stadium will be preceded by Steelers Fest, outside of Latrobe Memorial Stadium from noon to 6 p.m. sponsored by the Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Briana Tomack, president of the GLLV Chamber, said that Steelers Fest will include the Steelers Experience as well as the six Steelers Lombardi Trophies and the Ford Steelers F-150 truck, both available for photos with fans from noon to 4 p.m., along with the Steelers Nation Unite tent, Game Faces face painting, a bean bag toss game and Quarterback Challenge inflatable, along with free games, prizes, food, a climbing wall, an outdoor adventure area and more. Kids ages 6-14 can sign up for the free Gatorade Junior Training Camp from 3 to 5 p.m., and receive two free tickets to the practice as well as enjoying some football fun.
In addition, Steelers legends Will Allen and Tunch Ilkin will be available to sign autographs, with Allen signing from 4 to 5 p.m. and Ilkin from 5 to 6 p.m. The Pittsburgh Steeline drum line, made up of some of the finest drummers in western Pennsylvania, will perform prior to the practice.
Greater Latrobe School District Athletic Director Mark Mears said that fans may purchase tickets to the night practice at the gate, in advance by calling 724-539-4236, or in person at the Greater Latrobe Athletic Office, Latrobe News Stand, Latrobe Parks and Recreation and the Latrobe School District Administration Building on Lincoln Ave., Latrobe. Tickets are $5 for adults 13-65 and $2 for children 5-12 and senior citizens. Children under 5 will be admitted free if accompanied by a parent. Gates will open at 5 for the 7 p.m. practice, which will conclude at 9 p.m., followed by fireworks. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Greater Latrobe Athletic Department to fund student programs such as student council and booster organizations.
Camp Started at SVC in 1966
Through their first three decades in the National Football League, the Steelers held their training camp at a variety of locations, as far east as New England and as far west as Wisconsin. In 1966, for the third straight summer, training camp for the Steelers was at the University of Rhode Island. The team was there through the first four weeks of a five-game preseason schedule. Then, after a loss in Green Bay to Vince Lombardi’s Packers, Coach Bill Austin wanted the team close to Pittsburgh because the 1966 regular season was due to open with a home game against the New York Giants on Sept. 11. With no practice fields of their own at the time, the Steelers turned to Saint Vincent College. On July 29, 1966, the Steelers arrived on campus and spent a couple of weeks going through final preparations for the season. The Latrobe Bulletin report on their arrival was secondary to reports about local baseball leagues and the late Arnold Palmer’s appearance in the 48th annual PGA Tournament. In 1967, the Steelers conducted their entire training camp at Saint Vincent College and have returned every year since then.
March of the Bearcats Marching Band to Perform at Preseason Game Aug. 25
In celebration of the 53rd annual camp, Saint Vincent College assistant professor of music Thomas Octave has been invited to again sing the national anthem at the Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season game with the Tennessee Titans at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Heinz Field. The Saint Vincent College Marching Band, The March of the Bearcats, under the direction of Randall Kratofil, will perform during pre-game ceremonies.
**You can view the video of the media briefing at https://youtu.be/lSoX9Hd5XDA
Photos: Saint Vincent College will host the 53rd annual Pittsburgh Steelers summer training camp this summer. The first of 14 open practices on campus is Thursday, July 26.
241A: An overview of fans watching practice at Chuck Noll Field, July 29, 2017
241B: A close-up of Steelers practice, July 31, 2017
Photo credit: Alex Byers/Saint Vincent College
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