The Pittsburgh Steelers are three games into the 2020 season, all three of them ending in wins. Two of them have come at home at Heinz Field. None of them have been in front of fans, although their next game down south hosted by the Tennessee Titans is expected to have a limited number of fans. After that, we’ll see.
The Steelers’ next two games after that will be in the state of Pennsylvania, the first being against the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ll be at Heinz Field for that one, as well as for the game after, their first divisional matchup of the season against the currently 2-1 Cleveland Browns.
Team president Art Rooney II thinks there’s a chance that fans will be in the stands for them, as he said on Steelers Nation Radio yesterday prior to the game, in which they emerged victorious over the Houston Texans. He said the following on that subject:
We are very hopeful that at some point in the near future here, hopefully for our next home game, that we’ll be permitted to have some fans in the building. We feel good about the plan that we’ve submitted to the public authorities. Obviously, it’s an outdoor venue. We feel like we can have a plan where everybody could be socially distant. We’re seeing around the country, a lot of other places have fans in the stands. So far, at least, there are not any major outbreaks of the virus resulting from those situations. Obviously, the public health officials have to be looking at this closely, but we really think it’s time. Everybody in Allegheny County has done a great job. The virus has come back down in terms of the numbers. I know it goes up and down, and we have to keep looking at that, but I really think that, in a big, outdoor venue like this, we can have, hopefully 20 percent occupancy in the building.
Later, he went into some detail regarding the proposal that they were required to submit regarding hosting, saying, “we spent a lot of time on it and had a lot of outside consultants come in and help us put it together”, and which still must be approved.
“We’ve created ‘pods’, as the way it’s being referred to—seating pods, so that only designated seats will be able to be occupied”, he went on. “Groups of two, four, six, and eight are the size of the pods that we’ve scheduled. Our season-ticket holders first would have an opportunity to select the pod that they would like to sit in”.
Rooney stressed that he believes Heinz Field is fully capable of maintaining all CDC and local guidelines regarding safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the NFLPA’s website, the Steelers play in one of the least-impacted areas of any team in the country, currently averaging only 5.1 new cases per 100,000 residents in the city