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

Nov 15, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Real and cardboard cutout fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers watch the game against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 36-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

COVID forces Steelers to ban fans for December games

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Tuesday that attendance at Heinz Field for the team’s two home games in December will be limited to family and friends of players and members of the organization due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Steelers put out a statement that new restrictions on gatherings in the state of Pennsylvania have forced the team to ban fans.

“Governor Wolf’s Office and State Health Director Dr. Levine issued new orders and advisories which will affect our games in December, starting with the game against Washington on December 6. That order will now limit Heinz Field to no more than 2,500 people in the building, including players, coaches, stadium staff, etc.,” the team said in a statement.

“Consequently, we will have to restrict fans in the seating bowl to family and friends of players and the organization.”

The Steelers Thursday night Thanksgiving game against the rival Baltimore Ravens is not impacted by the new restrictions, and about 5,500 fans are expected to attend the game at Heinz Field.

Fans at Thursday’s game will be required to adhere to the stadium’s protocols, including requirements for wearing a mask and social distancing.

While no fans will be allowed at Heinz Field in December, it is unknown if fans will be allowed into the stadium should the Steelers, who are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC, host any games in the postseason.

— Field Level Media