Steeler Primer 2013: Every Steeler fan should know ...


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WHERE

Saint Vincent College, Route 30, Latrobe. This marks the Steelers' 48th consecutive summer at the school, and the sixth summer playing on Chuck Noll Field, named after the legendary Steelers coach.

GETTING THERE

From Pittsburgh, take the Parkway East to the Monroeville Interchange on the Turnpike. Go east to the Irwin Exchange (No. 67). Take Route 30 East about 17 miles to the entrance to Saint Vincent College and follow the signs. ... From Route 70, exit at New Stanton and take 119 North to Route 30, then head east. From Harrisburg and points east, take the Turnpike to exit 91, Donegal. Turn left onto PA Route 31 East, 1/4-mile to left turn at PA Route 711 North, 14 miles to left turn at U.S. Route 30 West, 10 miles to right turn at Saint Vincent. From Erie and points north, take Interstate 79 South to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, head east and follow directions from Pittsburgh. By airplane, the Westmoreland County Airport is across Route 30 from the campus. ... By rail, Amtrak (800-872-7245) offers passenger service with stops in Latrobe. From Pittsburgh and points west, the train pulls in at 8:11 a.m. From points east, 6:41 p.m.

PG map: St. Vincent College, Latrobe
(Click image for larger version)

PARKING

Parking is free at designated areas on the Saint Vincent campus. The campus parking lots open at noon for the afternoon practices and at 2:30 p.m. for the Aug. 14 evening practice.

PRACTICES

They are open and free to the public in the afternoon, most days between 2:55 p.m. and 5 p.m. This year there will be two evening practices, one at 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at Latrobe Stadium, and one at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Saint Vincent College. Weather and unforeseen circumstances can alter the schedule and those changes will be noted on post-gazette.com. The first open practice is Saturday, the first practice in pads is July 29, and the last one open to the public is Aug. 17.

GETTING AROUND

Campus opens to fans two hours before the start of an open practice. There are restricted areas. An information booth is near the field, and campus security can answer questions.

WHERE TO WATCH

The Steelers practice on four fields with plenty of viewing space surrounding them. Fans can watch from the hillsides or along a fence that rings the practice fields. There is bleacher seating at Chuck Noll Field that provides excellent views of the main practice areas. There are also handicap accessible areas.

What to bring: Blanket, lawn chair, binoculars, sunglasses, sunscreen, kids, food, soft drinks, water, camera, friends, pen, Sharpie, autograph book, Terrible Towel, football, good moods.

REFRESHMENTS

Concession stands are near the fields, as well as within the Robert S. Carey Student Center, northwest of the fields. Fans can bring in refreshments as well, with picnic baskets and coolers permitted.

PG graphic: Training camp calendar 2013
(Click image for larger version)

STEELER GEAR

The Steelers Sideline Store -- in this case a tent -- will sell just about anything you want. It opens at noon on the days camp is open to the public, except for the Aug. 14 practice, when it will open at 2:30 p.m. If you can't find it there, or perhaps would like some Saint Vincent merchandise, check the bookstore in the student union. The bookstore is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays of open practice, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends of open practice.

BANNED

Alcohol, drugs, whistles, video cameras, barbecue grills, profanity, graffiti, pests, pets, vocal Ravens fans and smoking indoors.

TO GET AUTOGRAPHS, PHOTOS

The Steelers do not hold an official photo day as they did for many years, but they will sign autographs during camps. Unlike some NFL teams, the Steelers do not limit autographs to certain age groups. The best chances for photos or autographs come after practice on campus. Common courtesies yield better odds. Say "Please," flash a nice smile, ask players by name and understand if a player wants to shower first. Players and coaches are cooperative far more often than not, but they are humans, so may be prone to a bad day. Don't take it personally. And once you've got that photo, share it and your other camp photos with Steeler Nation on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Steelers photo album page at www.post-gazette.com/steelerfanphotos.

STEELERS EXPERIENCE

Every kid dreams of being a Steeler, and here, they can be. The Experience, located on campus, includes chances to punt, pass, kick and be timed in the 40-yard dash. Add in a trip to a mock locker room, a photo shoot and optional face painting, and the interactive games and activities may seem never-ending. The Experience is free and opens at noon on the days of afternoon practices and at 2:30 p.m. for the Aug. 14 evening practice.

INFORMATION

Steelers offices at UPMC Sports Performance Complex (412-432-7800) and at Saint Vincent College (724-539-8515).

WHERE TO STAY

Among the motels and hotels within a 15-mile radius of Latrobe: In Latrobe is the Wingate Inn, 724-539-0400; and the SpringHill Suites, 724-537-7800. Near Greensburg are the Hampton Inn, 724-838-8800; Comfort Inn, 724-838-7070; Knights Inn, 724-836-7100; Super 8, 724-838-8080; the Inn at Mountain View, 724-691-0570; the Courtyard Marriott, 724-834-3555; and the Ramada Inn, 724-836-6060. Near Blairsville is the Hampton Inn, 724-459-5920. Near Delmont are the Holiday Inn, 724-468-1050; and the Super 8, 724-468-4888. Near Ligonier is the Ramada Inn, 724-238-9545.

Steelers - mobilehome

First Published July 21, 2013 4:00 AM


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