The Pittsburgh Steelers will be practicing for the Super Bowl on TCU’s campus soon, but it definitely won’t be the best place for 109ers to see the AFC Champions.
T. Ross Bailey, TCU associate athletic director, said practices will be completely closed to the public.
“It’s all business,” Bailey said.
Instead of spending hours outside the Sam Baugh Practice Facility, the best place for fans to see players may actually be at a local restaurant.
Bailey said he was unsure what the Steelers would do about eating, but many restaurant managers are hoping the players will want to check out the local scene.
Asked if she thought any Steelers players would stop in, assistant manager Becky McNeal of Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 3058 S. University, said, tongue-in-cheek, “Well what would be better after a long practice?”
Whether players stop in or not, restaurants are preparing for more people by ordering more food and having more staff.
Linc Forehand, general manager of Buffalo Bros., 3015 S. University, said he anticipated a lot of Steelers fans around the area about a week before the Super Bowl.
“We’re definitely going to have to order some extra food,” Forehand said. “Probably twice as much as we normally would throughout the whole week.”
Mike Lambert, assistant manager at Dutch’s, 3009 S. University, said they are already feeling the effects of the looming Super Bowl.
“I’m pretty sure (the general manager) has put in orders for more meat,” Lambert said. “We’re selling a lot of burgers.”
Lambert also said he heard a Steelers player was possibly going to stop by, but did not know for sure.
Pedro Rodriguez, manager of Fuzzy’s Tacos, 2917 W. Berry, is also anticipating the bigger crowd by not only getting more food and staff, but also by stocking up on merchandise.
“We just want everyone to come and watch the game, eat some tacos, and maybe drink some margaritas,” Rodriguez said, also admitting he planned to watch the game at the restaurant.
Norberto Saldana of YO! Frozen Yogurt Lounge, 3021 S. University, said he was looking to put up Steelers gear around the building to attract fans and show support.
While 109ers may have their best chance at an autograph at these venues, a local restaurant could be the best place to catch the game, as well.
All the restaurant managers said they planned to have specials during the Super Bowl and start advertising soon.
If fans are looking to catch players around practice, the Steelers will have access to a variety of TCU’s athletic facilities, Bailey said.
They will practice primarily in the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility. The NFL decided this week to close the retractable roof at Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV.
During a speech at TCU’s campus last summer, CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee Bill Lively said they chose TCU because of the indoor field and accessible facilities.