The Pittsburgh Steelers confirmed yesterday that they are planning to host fans at Heinz Field during the 2020 season.
In an email sent to season ticket holders, the Steelers advised that they “are working with public health officials and the NFL on plans for fans to safely attend the games…. We anticipate that we will be working with a reduced capacity scenario and that fans will be required to wear masks.”
The email also advises season ticket holders that they have the option to apply for a full refund for the 2020 season “while still retaining the ability to renew your season ticket location in 2021….”
As if to reinforce the above-referenced message, Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten went on to issue a statement that said, in part: “Our goal is to still have fans at Heinz Field this year with the understanding that social distancing as well as all fans being required to wear masks will play a role in the capacity to ensure a safe atmosphere.”
In May, the organization revealed that it would only sell half of its individual game ticket inventory, anticipating that social distancing would likely be part of any plan to try to ensure fan safety.
How many fans will be permitted at Heinz Field this season? It’s too soon to say, but it’s worth noting that the Baltimore Ravens have already announced that they plan to limit crowds at M&T Bank Stadium to 14,000 people or fewer, assuming fans are allowed to attend games at all.
Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 Preseason Schedule
Yesterday’s email also revealed that “the NFL is contemplating changes to the team’s preseason schedule, which may include cancelled games. Once those plans become final, we will communicate them to you, and you will receive a refund for any preseason games that are cancelled.”
Last week it was reported that the NFL plans to cancel half of the scheduled preseason games, with Pittsburgh’s home game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expected to be among the games eliminated.
Pittsburgh’s regular season opener is scheduled to take place on Monday Sept. 14 against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The home opener will be six days later—at Heinz Field vs. the Denver Broncos.
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Training Camp at Heinz Field
Meanwhile, the Steelers still plan to hold training camp at Heinz Field.
The NFL has also said that it would like teams to hold two fan-attended events at training camp, which would provide the opportunity to test and refine safety-oriented procedures and protocols ahead of any preseason and regular season games.
It will be the first time since 1966 that Steelers training camp will be held away from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.