UNITY TWP., Pa. — For the first time since 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be taking training camp on the road to St. Vincent College near Latrobe, and that means that the full fan experience of attending training camp is back, as well.
Here’s the Steelers Now fan guide to attending training camp:
What days can fans attend practice?
Practices will be open to the public on July 27-30, Aug. 1-6, 8-11 and 15-18.
Do you need tickets and what do they cost?
For the first time, yes. Tickets are required to enter the campus, but they are free and available through the Steelers website. Parking is also free.
When does the team practice and when should I arrive?
Practice starts at 1:55 p.m. every day, and generally lasts about two hours. Parking lots open at 11:30 a.m. and the campus will open at noon. The parking entrance can back up on popular days, so leave extra time.
What about Friday Night Lights?
The Steelers’ annual Friday Night Lights practice will be held at Latrobe Memorial Stadium in downtown Latrobe on Friday, Aug. 5. Tickets for that event are $5 and are available either at the gate, or ahead of time at the Latrobe High School athletic department office.
Especially if you’re getting your ticket the day of practice, get there early. The practice starts at 7 p.m., but they are expecting a big crowd and traffic can back up extensively getting into the parking lot.
How do you get there?
From Pittsburgh, take Route 30 due east until you see the campus on your left off St. Vincent Drive. If you’re coming from out of town, St. Vincent is closest to the New Stanton exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Latrobe also has an Amtrak station and the Arnold Palmer Airport has some commercial flights, mostly from Florida.
What can you do at training camp?
All of the practice is open to be viewed, either from the bleachers in front of Chuck Noll Field or on the hillsides the ring the practice area. All seats are on a first-come, first-served basis. Chairs and blankets are permitted.
Especially after practice, players are usually willing to interact with fans, give autographs, take photos and more. If you’re lucky (and especially if you’re a kid), you might be able to snag a glove from a receiver or another piece of memorabilia.
If you miss out on that, the Steelers set up a pro shop on campus, with shirts, hats, jerseys and the whole nine yards. The team also brings along parts of the Steelers Experience for kids. I can vividly remember running the 40-yard dash across the St. Vincent baseball field as a kid. Might skip that this year, though.
What is the food and drink situation?
Concessions are available at the field, but there is no tailgating in the parking area and no alcohol on campus whatsoever.
Many of the bars and restaurants in Latrobe have been hurting without training camp visitors for the last two seasons and would definitely appreciate your patronage. Sharky’s and Dino’s are two classic bar-restaurants right along Route 30, while DiNunzio’s over at the airport is more of a sit-down affair.
Is there anything else I should bring?
It gets hot at training camp, and there is very little shade around the practice fields. I’d call a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen essentials, and a water bottle or two a very good idea. If you want to sit in one spot and be able to see what’s going on all over the four practice fields, binoculars are a good idea. And if you want an autograph, bring something to get autographed like a hat, jersey or Terrible Towel.
What happens if it rains?
The Steelers will either cancel practice or move practice inside, and either way, the campus will be closed to fans. If practice starts and then inclement weather moves in, a warning siren will alert fans that practice is closing.
Can you take photos and videos of practice?
You can take as many photos as you want. Videos are not technically allowed, but that seems tough to enforce. I’d keep them off social media if you take them and you want to stay in the team’s good graces. Last year at Heinz Field, the team put up a scoreboard message imploring fans to not give the Steelers opponents an advantage by sharing practice video.
Can I come see my favorite Steelers writer while I’m there?
During practice, we’re on the field, generally somewhat isolated from the fans, and then our work gets pretty busy right after practice. If you want to come say hi, the best bet is to get there early. We’re usually on campus starting at 11 a.m. and have some downtime before practice starts. Shoot me a Twitter message.