Art Rooney II: ‘We Really Think It’s Time’ For Fans at Heinz Field


Joe Sargent/Getty Images Heinz Field during the game between the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 27, 2020.

On Sunday, before the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Houston Texans 28-21 at Heinz Field, Steelers team president Art Rooney II appeared on the team’s pregame radio show on WDVE 102.5 FM and sounded hopeful that fans will soon be allowed to attend the team’s home games.

“We feel good about our outdoor plan we submitted to the authorities,” Rooney said. “We’re seeing around the country other stadiums having fans and so far not having any major outbreaks of the virus because of that situation. We really think it’s time.”

According to Rooney, the team’s plan includes “seating pods” that accommodate two to eight people, and if the plan goes into effect, season ticket holders will have priority in terms of selecting pods.

The team will encounter fans for the first time this season when the Steelers visit the Tennessee Titans. In mid-September Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced that the Titans would be allowed to fill Nissan Stadium to up to 10 percent of capacity for the October 4 game.

Pittsburgh will play its next home on October 11, when it plays host to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Steelers Sack Streak Extended

During the game against the Texans, the Steelers recorded five sacks, extending the team’s streak of 60 consecutive games with at least one sack. That puts them into a tie with Washington and New Orleans for the second-longest sack streak in NFL history.

If the team continues to get at least one sack per game it will have a chance to tie and then break that record later this season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recorded a sack in 69 consecutive games between 1999-2003. That means the Steelers could have the opportunity to tie the record at home against Washington on December 6 and to break the record at the Buffalo Bills on December 13.

With 15 sacks already in the bag, Pittsburgh is well on its way to a fourth consecutive season of 50 or more sacks, which would set a new franchise record and put them within striking distance of the NFL record for most consecutive seasons with 50+ sacks. It’s a record that was set during the 1980s and is shared by three different teams.

Steelers Turnover Streak Ends

Meanwhile, on Sunday the Steelers also put an end to their 25-game streak of committing at least one turnover, a streak that dated back to the team’s week 11 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018. For his part, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has only one interception in 109 pass attempt this season. He has completed 73 of those 109 passes for 777 yards and seven touchdowns.

Next week, Roethlisberger will extend his own franchise record for most games played as a member of the Steelers to 222 games. He set the record against the Texans, surpassing Hall of Fame center Mike Webster, who played 220 games for the Steelers and 245 total NFL games, spending the last two years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.

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