Saint Vincent College stocks up for black and gold
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Summers at the private, Roman Catholic 1,800-student Saint Vincent College, site of the Steelers annual training camp, involve about 16 course offerings -- and 100,000 visitors.
With the latter, the more the merrier.
"It goes without saying that the Steelers have great visibility and fans all over the country and world, and anything they are doing at Saint Vincent's draws attention to the college, and so the college benefits greatly.
"We love visitors, and for people to see our campus and facilities and meet our people, we're happy to do it," Saint Vincent public relations director Don Orlando said.
The physical preparations encompassed the four full-size fields, locker rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, fitness area, weight rooms, residence halls and more.
The food planning began with the expansion of dining services by nearly 50 seasonal workers to join a staff of 75 to serve the Steelers and their fans.
To help feed the players through three weeks of camp, 1,600 pounds each of beef and chicken, and 1,100 pounds of fish, were ordered, in addition to 160 gallons of orange juice, and 90 gallons each of peach, cranberry, and apple juice. More than two tons of fresh fruits will be served.
Fans who visit camp for the open practices until Aug. 17 will find concessions throughout the grounds from 1:30 to 6 p.m. The Shack snack bar inside the Robert S. Carey Student Center also will be open.
The bookstore on the center's first floor, which will remain open during camp, prepared for the onslaught of visitors by stocking its shelves with black-and-gold ware and official Steelers merchandise.
To replenish sun-drenched attendees, the store will offer sunscreen, water and snacks - and a brief encounter with air-conditioning.
There are also Sharpie markers for those hoping to secure autographs following the scrimmages.
The Steelers' permanent and temporary staff manage the day-to-day procedures that direct visitors to the parking areas.
Security is also on hand to ensure that while folding chairs and picnic baskets are welcome, pets, barbecue grills and alcohol are prohibited.
Like any host, Saint Vincent's offers a little something extra for their guests beyond what the eye can see past Chuck Noll Field.
A special presentation of "The Chief" about Steelers legendary founder Art Rooney Sr., will be held through Aug. 19 to conclude the 2012 season of Saint Vincent Summer Theatre.
Performances are at 8:10 p.m. Aug. 1-4, 7-11 and 14-18. Matinees are scheduled at 2:10 p.m. Aug. 5, 15 and 19. Tickets are $10 to $22, with group rates and student/senior discounts available.
The shows will be held in the Performing Arts Center of the Carey Student Center on campus.
"We are proud to be able to provide good hospitality year after year for fans who enjoy the Steelers, the outdoors and our campus," Mr. Orlando said.
But training camp's biggest draw could be its longest-running one.
"How many places can you think of where you don't have to pay for parking or admission?" he said.
First Published August 2, 2012 12:00 am