PITTSBURGH — The new COVID-19 mandates that have been in effect in Pennsylvania since the week before Christmas will expire on Jan. 4, but there are still many questions left unanswered.
Since the rules on attending sporting events are being lifted, many are curious if the Pittsburgh Steelers will allow fans to attend the team’s home game on Wild Card Weekend, which will be Jan. 9-10.
As of Jan. 1, the answer appears to be ‘not quite.’
Burt Lauten, spokesperson for the Steelers, told Channel 11 in a statement Thursday that the team is working on clarifying what’s allowed and will touch base with season ticket holders next week. But right now, it’s limited to friends and family of the team.
“At this time, based on current State orders, the Steelers are preparing to restrict fans in the seating bowl to family and friends of players and the organization. However, we will continue to have dialogue with public health officials next week with the goal of possibly having increased capacity for our playoff game next weekend. We will communicate with our season ticket holders and fans next week with clarification of whether we will be permitted to add more fans. Our priority remains the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, gameday workers, and our fans as we navigate the pandemic during the 2020 season and playoffs.”
The Steelers could potentially have three home games through the AFC Championship game (albeit a slim chance), and fans will surely want the opportunity to support the black and gold at Heinz Field.
What about the Pittsburgh Penguins? Their season begins Jan. 13 to start a shortened 56-game schedule that runs through May 8.
With the Penguins’ home opener coming Jan. 17 against the Washington Capitals, Channel 11 asked the team if fans will get a chance to be inside PPG Paints Arena this season. The Penguins issued the following statement:
“Although we are excited to welcome fans back to PPG Paints Arena for hockey and to showcase the upgrades and improvements we have made to the building, we will continue to follow the recommendations and protocols of the CDC, the NHL and state and local authorities. We will make an announcement whenever fans are allowed to attend.”
So, for the time being, it doesn’t look like fans will be allowed at either venue.