The NFL certainly has a different look to in 2020. Not only are coaches and sideline personnel masked up, but almost all NFL stadiums are vacant. It has resulted in fake crowd noise on the television, and awkward moments with players telling the fans to “get loud” with their arms, only to have silence ensue.
Some teams, like the Las Vegas Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles, have already announced they are not going to have fans at any games in 2020. But some teams are taking it one month, or game, at a time.
Prior to the start of the 2020 regular season the Steelers put forth a plan for there to be a limited number of fans at Heinz Field for home games in the month of September. The state turned them down, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be trying hard for the month of October.
According to WPXI’s Aaron Martin, the Steelers are planning on approaching the state health department again in hopes of having fans at their two home games in the month of October (Week 5 vs. the Eagles and Week 6 vs. the Browns).
#BREAKING: @steelers officials will be speaking this week with the @PAHealthDept about fans returning to Heinz Field, according to a team spokesman. Pitt is also expected to speak to the state this week about fans, per a source close to the situation pic.twitter.com/rBwKWsg2jZ— Aaron Martin (@WPXIAaronMartin) September 28, 2020
To date, several teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins have all had success allowing a certain percentage of their overall capacity in their stadiums.
The Steelers’ next opponent, the Tennessee Titans, are allowing fans in their stadium for the first time this season, this after having one home game without fans this regular season.
This per tennesseetitans.com:
The plan is to have 10 percent capacity consisting of season-ticket holders to start, which is roughly 7,000 fans. That number will gradually increase over the next two home games to follow, with 12.5 percent capacity planned for the October 11 game against the Buffalo Bills, and then 15 percent capacity for the October 18 contest versus the Houston Texans.
After that, the hope is that the Titans can work their way up to 21 percent capacity, or about 14,500 fans.
After playing in front of an empty MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to play the New York Giants, and not having fans at Heinz Field, this will be the first time in 2020 the Steelers will be playing in front of fans.
The Steelers are hoping for good news for their home venue in the month of October, but in the meantime they will have to settle for a road crowd to create an atmosphere.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Titans in Week 4.