Spectators will find changes at Steelers training camp
Friday, July 13, 2007
By Tyler Batiste, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Saint Vincent College is preparing for its 41st consecutive season as host of the Steelers' training camp, and a few changes will take effect for fans coming to watch coach Mike Tomlin begin his first NFL campaign.
Topping the list is the addition of 1,050-capacity aluminum bench seating at the base of the slope in front of Saint Benedict Hall. Chuck Noll Field, as the facility is now called, will be the main venue for the Steelers when they open camp July 23.
"When the temperature starts to rise and the humidity goes up, we know it's time to kick off Steelers football at Saint Vincent," said Saint Vincent College president Jim Towey. "It's an honor for this college to host the Steelers and to have this long-standing friendship."
For the most part, the routine for spectators will remain the same. The location of parking will change, however. It will be in a field on the same side as the practice facility, rather than on the opposite side as in the past.
There also will be an addition to the Steelers' camp experience, with the presence, for about a week, of another football team on campus.
The Steelers conclude camp Aug. 17, and Aug. 12 marks the beginning of training camp for Saint Vincent's football squad.
The college has not had a football team since the 1962 season. Saint Vincent will compete in the NCAA Division III Presidents' Athletic Conference and open its 2007 campaign Sept. 1 against Gallaudet University.
Bearcats coach Bob Colbert, whose brother, Kevin, is the Steelers' director of football operations, said he doesn't envision Steelers camp posing any major problems for his team.
"Of course, we don't get our locker room and the training room and everything until they leave," Colbert said. "That's a little bit crowded, but we knew that was going to happen."
While both training camps are in session, the Steelers will occupy the four main football fields on Saint Vincent's campus. The Bearcats will practice on the two activity fields on a hill behind Saint Benedict Hall before moving to the main practice area after the Steelers leave campus.
The Steelers also announced that they are accepting applications for their Gatorade Junior Training Camp, scheduled from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. July 27 at the Latrobe Parks and Recreation Field. The Steelers' first night practice will follow that camp at the adjacent Latrobe Memorial Stadium.
The camp is free and open to 250 boys and girls ages 7 to 14. The registration deadline is July 25 and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Information is available at steelers.com or by calling 412-697-7713.