The 2020 NFL season is projected to start on time as social distancing guidelines are starting to ease up in several states. Will fans be able to attend NFL games in September? That's the question that appears to be unanswered at this moment.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have taken action toward the current social distancing guidelines, announcing only 50% of individual 2020 game tickets will be sold to the public. Pittsburgh started selling individual game tickets for the 2020 season on Friday.
"We are being proactive with these limited amount of tickets as we are preparing for possible social distancing scenarios at Heinz Field this year," Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten said in a statement on Twitter.
Tickets will not be sold at the Heinz Field box office, with sales going exclusively online. Pittsburgh is the first franchise to announce what number of ticket allotments it would sell. This is an interesting development considering the NFL has not announced social distancing guidelines for the 2020 season or if the league will play without fans in the stadium.
The Miami Dolphins have taken measures that incorporate social distancing. Hard Rock Stadium could be down to 15,000 fans for the 2020 season if the pandemic continues (capacity for the stadium for 65,000).
"We would have times to come in for security at different dates so people would be separated out in terms of when they enter the stadium," CEO Tom Garfinkel said. "We would exit the stadium much like a church environment or something where each row exits so people aren't filling out all at the same time in a herd."
Whether the Steelers would follow the Dolphins' lead is still to be determined, but teams are taking precautions toward playing in stadiums significantly less than 100% capacity. The social distancing guidelines could change, but Allegheny County is currently in the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf's state reopening plan for Pennsylvania -- meaning large gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.
The NFL season is just over three months away. Pittsburgh is making sure it has a plan in case fan access is restricted.