Fans will be at Union game, Eagles-Steelers game in Pittsburgh; Philly decision awaits

The Union are the first professional sports team in the Philadelphia area to open their stadium to fans.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Steelers say yes to fans, Philly to decide next week
Leaders of State College and Philadelphia aren’t ready to make the change just yet.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- There will be fans in the stands this Sunday.

The Philadelphia Union will be the first professional sports team to reopen to fans.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be letting fans when they host the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field. But whether seats will be filled for future home games at Lincoln Financial Field remains to be determined.

"We are pleased to welcome back our fans to Heinz Field this Sunday when we host the Philadelphia Eagles," Steelers President Art Rooney said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf approved a plan to increase the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than 10% to 25% percent of total capacity. This allows for fans to return to sporting events.

Under the guidance, Heinz Field will be limited to 7,500 total people in the stadium, which includes players, coaches, staff, and fans. And those fans will be Steelers fans.

"Based on these limitations we will only be able to make available to our fans approximately 5,500 seats in the lower seating bowl at Heinz Field, priority will be given to our season ticket holders who did not opt this season," Rooney said.

RELATED: Gov. Wolf increases crowd limits for most of Pennsylvania, but guidelines under review in Philadelphia

Coronavirus-related crowd restrictions for both indoor and outdoor events were loosened for most of Pennsylvania on Tuesday by Gov. Tom Wolf.

Under the governor's guidance, Philadelphia's gathering limits can remain in place until city officials decide to change them.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said the city will wait to announce any changes in the city's gathering rules until Tuesday.

Farley said Philadelphia is the largest, most densely populated city in the state. He said the city has been the hardest hit by the virus and it has large venues which attract people from across the state and country.

The mayor agreed.

"When the governor or folks are getting pressure from legislatures and others to do certain things and to open up more, it's coming from areas that aren't experiencing the type of infection that we are experiencing, even Pittsburgh I think is half our size," Mayor Jim Kenney said, as he continues his self-quarantine after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Steelers fans attending Sunday's game will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols.

Tailgating is not permitted in the stadium parking lots, Rooney said.

Doop! Union says yes to fans

As Eagles fans wait for word on if they can return, the Philadelphia Union, who play in Chester, Pennsylvania, have announced their plans for fans to return.

The Philadelphia Union will open Subaru Park in Chester, Delaware County to a number of limited fans beginning with Sunday's game against Montreal Impact.

"The Union will have a strict set of safety protocols implemented for each game which were created in consultation with local health officials, Major League Soccer and the league's health and safety experts," the team said in a statement.

Everyone must wear a mask at all times in Subaru Park, except when actively eating or drinking, and will receive a temperature check upon arrival.

The Union says seats have been spaced out throughout the bowl to allow for six feet of distance in all directions.

"All previous touch points between staff and fans have been eliminated," the team said.

Fans will use a mobile ticket and parking pass, walk through security metal detectors, and only be able to purchase concessions with a credit or debit card.

Season ticket holders will be able to purchase seats in any available location in Subaru Park, including locations outside of their current level price. The Union says any available tickets following the initial Season Ticket Member on-sale opportunity will then be made available to the general public.

No tailgating will be permitted in the Subaru Park parking lots.

"This will be the first time that fans will see the Union play at Subaru Park and be able to experience the new features since the stadium naming rights announcement at the beginning of 2020. Most notably, gameday is enhanced by the all-new, high dynamic range videoboard and upgraded LED ribbons around the field and bowl," the Union said.