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Steelers provide season ticket refund option, anticipate mandatory masks for fans

(Greensburg) Tribune-Review (TNS)
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The Pittsburgh Steelers informed season-ticket holders Wednesday night the option for a full refund is available this season, and fans attending games amid the coronavirus pandemic will be required to wear masks inside Heinz Field.

In an email sent to ticket holders, the Steelers revealed the seating capacity of 68,400 at Heinz Field will be reduced this season because of social distancing measures. No specific seating reduction was mentioned.

The team added anyone asking for a full refund would retain “the ability to renew your season ticket location for 2021 and, if applicable, any associated seat licenses.”

Ticket holders who request a refund via the team website must provide a reason why they wish their account to be placed on hold until the 2021 season.

“Our goal is to still have fans at Heinz Field this year with the understanding that social distancing, as well as all fans being required to wear masks, will play a role in the capacity to ensure a safe atmosphere,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. “We will continue to work with the NFL and public health officials to finalize plans for fans to attend our home games.”

The Steelers also are doing away with printed tickets this season, with all fans attending games being required to use digital ticketing.

“We will continue the process of allowing our fans to opt out of their 2020 season tickets if they feel they are uniquely affected by the current situation,” Lauten said.

NFL owners reportedly have proposed reducing the preseason schedule from four games to two — one home and away from each team. The NFL Players’ Association is seeking to eliminate all preseason games and begin the year with a 16-game regular-season schedule.

The NFL already has postponed the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, between the Steelers and Dallas Cowboys until 2021. The first preseason home game, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is scheduled for Aug. 14. The regular-season home opener is scheduled for Week 2, Sept. 20, against the Denver Broncos.

In the email to season ticket holders, the Steelers said: “We are working with public health officials and the NFL on plans for fans to safely attend the games. Our goal is to have fans at Heinz Field this season. We anticipate that we will be working with a reduced capacity scenario, and that fans will be required to wear masks. We will provide more information on the regular season plans once they are finalized.”

The Baltimore Ravens announced Wednesday plans to limit capacity to 14,000 at M&T Bank Stadium if fans are permitted to attend games.