The 2023 NFL schedule has now been officially released for more than a week. On Tuesday’s episode of The Scho Bro Show podcast, Big Bro Scho and I looked at the schedule from the perspective of attending the games. While some Steelers fans have the luxury of attending multiple games each season, there are other parts of the fan base spread across the world who would love to be able to catch the Steelers one time in person in their lifetime. If the 2023 NFL season is your time, we are here to help.
It should be noted this exercise is mainly for those people looking to attend one game this season. If you are someone that attends more than half the games, then they all have their various appeal factors. But if you are only attending one game this year, getting the best experience should be your greatest goal.
Before diving into the regular season, I will say preseason games are a great opportunity for some fans looking for a very specific experience. For me, I find the preseason is a great time to take children to a game if your budget does not allow you to do so during the regular season. Tickets directly from the Steelers are very inexpensive compared to the regular season, and resale tickets are sometimes as low as single-digit dollar amounts. The stadium is not nearly as crowded, especially towards the end of the game. And because the result is not the most important aspect of a preseason game, it is a much more relaxed environment. So, if that is what you were looking for, especially if you’re looking to take a young one to their first game, don’t rule out the Steelers lone preseason game in Pittsburgh as they are before many schools begin their year.
Getting to the heart of the issue, the regular season, I’ve split the games into two categories. First, the away games and what they could possibly bring as a fan experience. As a reminder, here are the games on the Steelers schedule in which they will be on the road:
Week 3: at Raiders 8:20 PM
Week 4: at Texans 1 PM
Week 7: at Rams 4:05 PM
Week 11: at Browns 1 PM
Week 12: at Bengals 1 PM
Week 15: at Colts TBD
Week 17: at Seahawks 4:05 PM
Week 18: at Ravens TBD
When it comes to the away schedule, I want to acknowledge many fans who choose to hit the road for the Steelers game are ones who are looking for the experience closer to where they live. Obviously, unless you’re willing to travel to Pittsburgh, fans that live west of the Mississippi River will have a much easier trip to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or Seattle to catch the black and gold.
As for the Week 11 and Week 12 games in Cincinnati and Cleveland, I’d rather have the experience in Pittsburgh. Cleveland is so close to Pittsburgh it’s just better to attend a game at Acrisure Stadium. As for Cincinnati, if it’s a geographical issue the game in Indianapolis is less than a two hour drive from Cincinnati and would likely offer a better environment. So if you are choosing one of these games, it’s probably based more on the dates.
When it comes to the game in Baltimore, I’m fairly biased about this one. Being a person who lives much closer to M&T Bank than Acrisure, I would much rather make the 3.5 hour drive to the Steel City than to go into that place again. It would take some pretty unique circumstances for me to choose to attend a game there over one in Pittsburgh. Being the final regular-season game does hold weight, but it’s still having to go to that awful city.
If you are a person looking for the best road experience to see the Steelers in 2023, my top suggestions are in Las Vegas or Houston. Out of the three games in the west, I think Vegas just because… it’s Vegas. But really any of those three are a good choice if you’re looking at the West Coast. As for Houston, there are a lot of Steelers fans in the southeastern part of the United States and Houston will be the closest game for them this year. Whether it’s close enough is a whole different story.
I’ve spent enough time on the away games, let’s get to the Steelers home schedule:
Week 1: vs. 49ers 1 PM
Week 2: vs. Browns Monday 8:15 PM
Week 5: vs. Ravens 1 PM
Week 8: vs. Jaguars 1 PM
Week 9: vs. Titans Thursday 8:15 PM
Week 10: vs. Packers 1 PM
Week 13: vs. Cardinals 1 PM
Week 14: vs. Patriots Thursday 8:15 PM
Week 16: vs. Bengals Saturday 4:30 PM
Each game scheduled for Acrisure Stadium this year brings something different. If you want to see the opener, something the Steelers haven’t done in eight seasons, a 1 PM start against the 49ers in September would make for a pleasant experience. An early AFC North matchup against the Ravens in Week 5 is always a unique experience if AFC North matchups are your thing. The classic matchup of two historic franchises with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers with a 1 PM kick off in Week 10 is likely to be a pretty hot ticket as well and would likely be my choice for the best single game to attend.
The Steelers host three prime time games this season, at one stands out above the others as a standalone game. The Steelers facing the Browns on Monday Night Football in Week 2 makes for a very interesting early season matchup. The Steelers home record on Monday night is exceptional, and if it’s a chance to beat the Browns it’s something that’s always nice to see.
I saved the other two prime time games, both on Thursday night, to look at a unique opportunity for Steelers fans. If you are someone who is looking to make a trip to Pittsburgh and get the most bang for your buck, the Steelers have two places on the calendar where they play two games at home in a five-day period. In Week 8 and Week 9, the Steelers host the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 PM and then host the Tennessee Titans five days later on Thursday Night Football. If looking to do something similar later in the season, the Steelers host the Cardinals at 1 PM in Week 13 and turn around and host the Patriots on Thursday night in Week 14. Although these games can stand out for various reasons including the Steelers great record at home on Thursday night, looking at them as a package deal has to be fairly tempting to someone who is looking to make their way to Pittsburgh.
The Steelers final home game comes with a late kickoff on Saturday afternoon two days before Christmas. Hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in a nationally televised game, it will be a munique experience for the Steelers final home game of the season..
There is the breakdown of the Steelers 2023 schedule and what might bring the best experience for fans depending on what they are looking to do. So which game would you attend if you could only pick one? Make sure you leave your answer in the comments below.
For the complete breakdown of which games could bring the best fan experience, check out The Scho Bro Show podcast below: