Updated: Jun 25
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Steelers announced this morning that their plan to have training camp at Saint Vincent College was denied by the NFL/NFLPA due to the league's COVID-19 protocols. The Steelers have held their training camp at Saint Vincent College every year since 1966 prior to these last two years due to the pandemic.
The Steelers this year will have their training camp split between Heinz Field and the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Once their practice schedule is finalized, the team will announce plans to host fans at Heinz Field for a select number of practices. With playing in the Hall of Fame Game this year, the Steelers are expected to begin training camp as early as July 21.
While the NFL/NFLPA denied the Steelers' plan to have training camp at Saint Vincent College, it's interesting that they approved the plans by the Chiefs to hold training camp at Missouri Western State University and the Cowboys to have their camp in Oxnard, Calif. Both with fans, as well.
It's unclear why the NFL/NFLPA denied the Steelers' plan, but many believe it has to do with the dorm situation at Saint Vincent College and each player having a dorm to themselves. However, according to Ed Bouchette of The Athletic, over 85 percent of the Steelers players are fully vaccinated, which may be most in the NFL.
"We are disappointed in the NFL's and NFLPA's decision regarding training camp, as one of our favorite annual traditions is welcoming the Steelers and their fans to campus," said Saint Vincent College President Father Paul Taylor, O.S.B., in a statement released on Thursday morning. "The Steelers are an important part of the Saint Vincent community, and we look forward to welcoming the team and fans back next summer. As they begin the 2021 season, we pray for the health and safety of the entire organization and Steelers fans around the world, as well as an end to this pandemic.