Countdown begins for Steelers training camp at St. Vincent
By Joe Napsha
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
For the 47th time, St. Vincent College near Latrobe is preparing for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the thousands of fans who will descend on the campus when the team's training camp opens July 25.
College personnel have worked hard over the past several weeks to get the campus ready for what Sports Illustrated writer Peter King called the most fan-friendly National Football League training camp, St. Vincent President Brother Norman W. Hipps said Tuesday at a news conference at the Unity campus.
“We're partially responsible for this fan-friendly camp because we work in partnership with the Steelers organization. There is ... a long-term friendship between the Rooney family (Steelers owners), our (St. Vincent) archabbot and the Benedictine monks. There is collaborative effort with the Steelers offices, coaches, player personnel and public relations,” Hipps said.
To get ready for the Steelers and their legion of fans, St. Vincent is building a mile of fencing around the practice fields and walkways, said Larry Hendrick, facility management director. A staff of about 33 groundskeepers, custodians, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen have devoted about 1,000 manhours to get the campus ready for the team, including preparing the dorms and training rooms. Work began shortly after the college graduation in May.
Hendrick said the Steelers are in charge of getting the three natural grass practice fields in shape for the team.
“They will be down there every day at the field,” Hendrick said of the Steelers personnel.
To feed the Steelers while at camp, the college's dining services ordered 1,600 pounds each of beef and chicken, and 1,100 pounds of fish.
The Steelers do emphasize healthy eating, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, said Reggi Esmi, food services general manager. The college has added about 50 employees to serve the Steelers, Esmi said.
The food service also will provide food for an anticipated 10,000 fans on the weekends, Esmi said.
Hipps said he was not certain how much the preparations will cost. St. Vincent is reimbursed by the Steelers for the training camp costs, said Don Orlando, St. Vincent spokesman.
The college's summer theater will produce “The Chief,” a one-man play about Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. The performances at the Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center will run from July 28 to Aug. 19.
“I remember fondly seeing him walk on campus, smoking a cigar, often showing up at our monastery Mass,” Hipps said of the longtime Steelers owner, who was beloved by players and fans.
An exhibit of 65 original lithographic and giclee prints from the private collection of Steelers Vice President Art Rooney Jr., a 1957 graduate of St. Vincent, will be displayed at St. Vincent Gallery from July 28 to Aug. 19. The works feature some of the most famous figures in Steelers history.
J oe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.