(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
In addition to saying that he plans on having full capacity at Heinz Field this year, Steelers president Art Rooney II told Bob Labriola of Steelers.com that he hopes the Steelers return to Saint Vincent College this summer to have training camp after it not being held 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 told Labriola about the Steelers 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."
Rooney encourages people to get the vaccine, so things can get back to normal sooner in all facets of life.
"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," Rooney said.
"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 mentioned that if fans are not allowed, he's not sure they would go to training camp at Saint Vincent College.
"If we can't have fans, I'm not sure we would go to training camp up there," Rooney said. "That's certainly a big part of it – to be there with our fans. Our fans love being up there. There are great facilities up there, and it's a great place for training camp for the players from a football perspective. But without the fans I'm not sure what we would do. We'll be looking at whether there are more restrictions on fans' ability to gather at that point. Right now, things are trending in the right direction and so we're planning to be there and we're planning to have fans there. Whether everything (about camp at Saint Vincent) is exactly the same as it was two years ago, you've got to look at whether changes need to be made under the circumstances. And we'll be looking at all of that."
The NFL sent a memo to clubs last week saying teams will be permitted to go away for training camp in 2021, subject to league approval. Last year, all camps had to be at club facilities and stadiums because of COVID restrictions.