The 2020 NFL season saw a lot of things many fans had grown accustomed to go away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Home games were gone for many fans, and for the teams who still took their entire outfit on the road for training camp, that too was gone.
While the NFL has to yield to state regulations for home game capacity, etc. it is starting to relax some of the mandates they put on their clubs in 2021. They are starting with training camp.
Teams who travel away from their home facility, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the league has stated they will allow them to go away form camp, pending league approval. This per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
The NFL sent a memo to clubs today saying teams will be permitted to go away for training camp in 2021, subject to league approval, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 7, 2021
Last year, all camps had to be at club facilities and stadiums because of COVID restrictions. Now, another small step back to normal.
For Steelers fans who have enjoyed the custom of flocking to Saint Vincent in Latrobe, PA to watch the Steelers practice might be getting their wish again in 2021. However, it should be noted the memo sent to NFL teams was not specific regarding fans being in attendance at these training camp practices. In other words, although the Steelers might be permitted back at Saint Vincent doesn’t necessarily mean fans will be allowed there to watch practices at Chuck Noll field.
The NFL will likely yield to state and local health departments when it comes to fan attendance, adjusting their policies with what is permitted at the state and local level for outdoor gatherings, etc.
This is still a developing story, but a sign that 2021 might look more normal compared to what 2020 provided. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.