In an email sent to Pittsburgh Steelers season ticket holders in July, the team advised fans that they were “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.”
Updated Statement to Fans
But today the team sent season ticket holders an update saying that fans will not be permitted to attend the first two home games of the year, versus the Denver Broncos on September 20th and the Houston Texans on September 27th.
“Over the last several months we have been communicating with public health officials and the NFL on plans for fans to safely attend games this season,” read the email. “We obviously know and greatly appreciate the dedication of our fans and your strong desire to attend games. Unfortunately, given the current conditions and state orders, we will not be able to welcome fans to Heinz Field at this time….
“As we have prepared for the 2020 season, we have continuously followed the guidance of public health officials to ensure the safety of our fans, as well as our players, coaches and staff,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II via the statement.
“We understand and appreciate the dedication of our fans…. That is why it is disappointing to announce that we will not be able to host fans for our first two home games in September. Our plan for games without fans has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and we appreciate and respect the guidance of our public health officials concerning the ongoing public health emergency. We will continue to work on plans to host fans at games when it is deemed safe to proceed. We will communicate with our ticket holders concerning updates on our plans.
In the email, the team also says it will remain in communication with public health officials, not to mention the NFL, with the goal of hosting fans sometime in 2020.
But the decision means that there won’t be any fans in attendance for any of Pittsburgh’s games during the month of September. The governor of New Jersey had previously ordered that no fans be allowed at MetLife Stadium, where the Steelers are scheduled to play the New York Giants on Monday September 14.
Heinz Field: Election “Super Center”?
However, a recent report indicates that Heinz Field will be open for voting in November, as the stadium is set to become an Election “Super Center.” The Steelers are one of a handful of professional sports franchises that has agreed to open their venue for voting.
It helps that the team doesn’t have any home games that could conceivably interfere with election voting in November. The Steelers host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday October 18, but aren’t scheduled to play at Heinz Field again until Sunday November 15 when the team welcomes the Cincinnati Bengals.
In between the Steelers travel to play the Baltimore Ravens on October 25. Then there’s a bye week, followed by a game at the Dallas Cowboys on November 8.
Election Day is on Tuesday November 3rd.
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