Oct 18, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  The Pittsburgh Steelers take the field to play the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 38-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers, Browns to play before limited crowd of 2,500

Seating capacity at Sunday night’s wild-card game in Pittsburgh between the Steelers and the Cleveland Browns will be limited to 2,500.

Tickets will not be sold, and the people in the seats at Heinz Field will be guests of the Steelers. The decision follows orders of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to reduce capacity in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier this season, the Steelers sold limited tickets, with a season high of 5,909 fans against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 15 before Wolf’s order took effect.

“We are disappointed we will not be able to host our season ticket holders and other fans at Heinz Field on Sunday night against the Cleveland Browns in our AFC Wild Card Game,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said. “We were hoping to receive approval to host fans for the playoffs at a capacity similar to our games in October and November, but unfortunately the state’s orders will only permit 2,500 total people in the building, including players, coaches and staff. This will limit fans in the seating bowl to family and friends of players and the team.”

The Steelers, the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs, and the No. 6 Browns are scheduled to kick off Sunday at 8:15 p.m. in the final of six wild-card games this weekend.

The AFC North rivals split their season series. The Steelers won at home on Oct. 18, 38-7. The Browns won 24-22 in Cleveland in the regular-season finale on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;  A general view of empty stands before a NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL plans 20 percent capacity for Super Bowl

Super Bowl tickets will be harder to get than ever.

The NFL currently plans to limit attendance to 20 percent for Super Bowl LV, scheduled for Feb. 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., ESPN reported Wednesday.

The stadium has a seating capacity of 65,618 fans, expandable to 75,000 for special events, meaning an estimated crowd of 13,000 to 15,000 could be allowed to attend the game.

Other restrictions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic include spectators being required to wear masks and sit in “pods six feet apart,” per the report.

ESPN also said the date of the game will not change if the NFL adds a Week 18 to the regular season. The week off currently scheduled between the conference championships and the Super Bowl would be eliminated instead.

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2019; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers fans look on from the stands during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee to allow fans at 25 percent capacity to start

Tennessee will allow roughly 25,000 fans into Neyland Stadium when the Volunteers’ football season kicks off its home slate in October, the school announced Tuesday.

The figure is based on 25 percent capacity at the Knoxville stadium, which holds 102,455.

The Volunteers face Missouri in their Oct. 3 home opener. The school said capacity restrictions could change as the season progresses, based on coronavirus data and “evolving recommendations of public health officials.”

“I can’t overstate how much I empathize with the thousands of fans who won’t get to experience gameday in Neyland Stadium this fall,” Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in a statement.

“These circumstances are beyond our control, and we understand the importance of playing our part to keep our community healthy. For those who will be with us in the stadium this season, please know that we are committed to creating the safest possible environment in and around Neyland Stadium,” Fulmer said.

Top priority for tickets goes to current students and active donors, and season-ticket holders who choose not to attend games this season will not lose their seats, the school said.

The adjusted seating model at Neyland Stadium follows mandated guidelines for social distancing.

–Field Level Media