The NFL is requiring all teams to hold training camp at their own facilities. The Pittsburgh Steelers announced through Burt Lauten, their director of communications, that they intend to use Heinz Field.
Before this tweet it was assumed the Steelers would use their practice fields at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in the South Side. That facility has four 80-yard practice fields, but the Steelers share the fields and the facilities with the Pittsburgh Panthers football team.
There are several potential advantages to holding training camp at Heinz Field. For one, it puts the whole team together and outside, which will keep some similarity with the St. Vincent camps. The stadium seating and press accommodations should make it easier for media to cover camp while keeping distance from each other and team personnel. With four locker rooms (Steelers, Panthers, and two visitors) the Steelers will also have more space to hold the larger offseason roster while adhering the the NFL’s social distancing policy.
Many fans will be thinking about the more than 60,000 seats in Heinz Field, and the possibility of attending a practice. While using Heinz Field certainly opens up the potential compared to the team headquarters, opening the stadium to the public would require a lot of people signing off on the idea, both inside and outside the NFL. Although some brave fans may be holding out hope to still catch a practice, don’t expect to hear anything about that soon.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for all Steelers’ offseason news.