No plans to change training camp
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
By Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For years, fans have descended upon Saint Vincent College in Latrobe to watch Steelers training camp. It has become an annual event for people who enjoy watching practices and standing in line for autographs.
The Steelers' plans for training camp have not changed, but other NFL teams have canceled their off-site training camps because of the uncertainty created by the lockout.
Last week the Baltimore Ravens canceled their plans to train at McDaniel College, and the New York Jets informed SUNY-Cortland that they would not be training there. Instead they will hold training camp, if there is one, at the facilities they use during the regular season.
The Vikings told Minnesota State University that the drop-dead date for holding camp there is July 18. If the lockout is not settled by then the team will train at their in-season facility.
Saint Vincent spokesman Don Orlando said Monday that the college is "optimistic" that the Steelers will hold training camp there despite the uncertainty of the lockout.
"We'll be ready if they need us," Orlando said.
Orlando also said the Steelers have not informed the college of a date when they would make a decision regarding training camp. The Steelers confirmed Monday that there is not a drop-dead date for the team to make a decision.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin sidestepped the question two weeks ago when he was asked about it at his football camp. The Steelers usually open training camp in late July, but they have not set a date this year because of the lockout.
While the Steelers and Saint Vincent aren't saying much about training camp, local hotels and restaurants are eagerly awaiting word.
Dawn Roberts, the general manager at the Courtyard by Marriott in Greensburg, said bookings are down for late July and early August because of the NFL labor situation. She decorates her hotel with Steelers memorabilia every year to welcome out-of-town fans who made the trek to camp.
"We're getting a lot of calls from people. They want to know, 'Have we heard anything?' " Roberts said.
If training camp is not held at Saint Vincent this year Roberts projected that her hotel would stand to lose about $18,000-20,000 in business.