The Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American football franchise will restrict access to family and friends of players and the organisation for December games at Heinz Field following new orders from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the state health director.

Starting with the game against Washington Football Team on December 6, Heinz Field will be limited to no more than 2,500 people in the building, including players, coaches and stadium staff.

As a result, the Steelers have announced that seating bowl access will be restricted to family and friends of the team. Fans who have selected seats for the December 6 game will be contacted regarding credits or refunds.

The Steelers’ home game against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday will not be affected by the new orders and the team expects around 5,500 fans in attendance. Supporters will be required to wear masks and be socially distanced and the game appears set to be the final Steelers fixture of the year with a crowd.

The Steelers are likely to make the NFL play-offs, which will take place in January. It remains unclear whether the team will be able to welcome fans back for any play-off games that may be held at Heinz Field.

The Steelers last month detailed plans to start letting in around 5,500 fans at Heinz Field after Governor Wolf announced that Pennsylvania would be altering its venue gathering limit. A number of NFL teams announced similar plans to allow fans back but recently games have started to go back behind closed doors.

Last week, the Ravens, Washington and Philadelphia Eagles announced that they would not be welcoming fans for upcoming home games amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. The Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium and the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium will also remain closed to the general public for the rest of the season.

Image: Tony Webster/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size