While the Pittsburgh Steelers are selling tickets for 2020, they’re planning for a scenario where there are fewer fans at Heinz Field than usual. Individual ticket sales for the season went on sale Friday but according to team spokesman Burt Lauten, the team is only selling 50% of those tickets out of an abundance of caution. Here’s what Lauten tweeted yesterday afternoon.
“We are being proactive with these limited amount of tickets as we are preparing for possible social distancing scenarios at Heinz Field this year,” Lauten said.
The NFL has yet to make any announcement about if fans can attend games this year and if so, how many will be let in. Football is in wait-and-see mode though there’s been gaining optimism there will be football with at least some fans able to attend. They’re the one sport with time on their side; the NBA, NHL, and MLB are currently scrambling to put together plans to restart or start their seasons.
In the college football world, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says the school is creating plans to have at least 20,000 fans in their 100,000 capacity stadium. Depending on the track of the virus and advice of health experts and rules of local governments, it may be a best case scenario. Having fans at games are critical for atmosphere and contributing a sense of societal normalcy while having fewer helps space people out, reinforce social distancing, and keep COVID cases from spiking.
Hypothetically, if Pittsburgh followed suit and played to roughly 20% capacity as Ohio State’s outlining, Heinz Field would have 13,680 fans per game. Far from a sea of Terrible Towels but hey, at least Renegade won’t be played to an empty crowd.
Of course, the bottom line is no one knows what’s going to happen three months from now when the league kicks off. It’s uncertain when the NFL plans to make an announcement for what teams can and can’t do.
Use this link to buy tickets through Ticketmaster. Tickets for the home opener versus Denver start as low as $105 while preseason seats can be had for as little as $14. The Steelers have said fans who buy tickets through the team will be offered a refund should the games be cancelled or fans unable to attend.