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The Steelers’ plan for having fans at Heinz Field in 2020

If there will be fans in the stands for home Steelers games, season ticket holders have been given a glance as to what the process will look like.

NFL: SEP 15 Seahawks at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers informed their season ticket holders of how they plan to move forward if fans are allowed in the stadium for the 2020 season. Uncertainty in regards as to how the Steelers will handle having fans in the stadium has been an ongoing question for those who are hoping to attend games. While many season ticket holders are still holding on to hope they will be cheering on the Black and Gold for all eight home games this fall, some have chosen to opt out of their tickets for 2020 but still keep their seats for 2021.

Recently, Ticketmaster refunded all purchased single-game tickets at Heinz Field, including those which were re-sold by season ticket holders. In essence, all ticket transactions are on hold as seat availability isn’t something the Steelers can guarantee.

Many season ticket holders were hoping for come clarity as to how both game and seat allotments will work in order to decide if they will take the opt out alternative. With August 14th being the deadline for season ticket holders to make their decision, the added information given on Wednesday should be helpful.

Here is what the Steelers announced to season ticket holders in regards to their seats for 2020:

If it is determined that fans are permitted to attend games, it is highly likely that seating capacity will be greatly reduced to allow for social distancing and other safety measures. It will also be necessary to create seating groups or “pods” to allow for social distancing between various groups while seated. Given these requirements, we will not be able to offer you your exact season ticket location for the 2020 season. Every effort will be made to offer you a seat location that is similar to your season ticket location.

With the NFL already announcing the first several rows of stadiums will be able to have the seats covered in tarps which can hold advertising, the question of some season ticket holders not having their regularly assigned seats was one issue which needed to be addressed. With the explanation of the use of “pods” it appears tickets from the same party will be able to sit together while being distanced from others.

So how will the Steelers determine who will sit where?

If fans are permitted to attend games, season ticket holders who have elected to keep their season tickets for the 2020 season will have the opportunity to select new seat locations on a game-by-game basis. You may apply the funds that you have already paid for your 2020 season tickets towards these new seat location offers. Any unused funds will remain on your account as a credit toward the 2021 season or you may request a refund.

Although the Steelers have given season ticket holders a glimpse as to what they are considering should fans be allowed in the stadium, there are still a lot of questions to be answered. On what basis will the order of choosing seats be determined? Will it be a “first come, first served” basis much like when single-game tickets go on sale? Will the Steelers merely assign certain seats for only some of the games for each account? At what point will this actually take place? What about fans who don’t have season tickets?

The answer to the final question looks to be something many may not want to hear. Unless you are Steelers season ticket holder, chances are you most likely will not have an opportunity to attend games at Heinz Field in 2020. It’s unclear at this time as to how many season ticket holders have chosen to take the opt-out route, but chances are there will be more wanting their tickets for the season than the number of seats which will be available.

The best way to secure Steelers tickets to Heinz Field in 2020 is to know a season ticket holder who hasn’t yet opted out of their tickets for the year. While there may eventually be an opportunity to purchase tickets from someone selling them on the secondary market, it is not something which is currently available.

Additional details about this process will be communicated to you once the plans are finalized. In the meantime, the ability to sell or transfer tickets remains unavailable.

Of course, the entire process could be a moot point if it is deemed by local health officials or the NFL that fans will not be able to attend games at Heinz Field. But as they have stated throughout the entire process, the Steelers remain hopeful at least some fans will be in attendance.