The Pittsburgh Steelers have expressed their disappointment after it was confirmed season ticket holders and other fans will not be permitted for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field, while fellow NFL team the Green Bay Packers are lining up their biggest attendance of the season for their opening playoff encounter.

The Steelers were hopeful of having fans back in the stands for the AFC Wild Card game. However, spokesman Burt Lauten said yesterday (Thursday): “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’ opening two home games at Heinz Field were played behind closed doors, but around 5,000 fans were permitted for the following three games. This run was ended when the Steelers were forced to restrict access to family and friends of players and the organisation for December games following new orders from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the state health director.

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Image: Green Bay Packers