By Sammy Strobel
Assistant Sports Editor
The Miami Dolphins have decided to increase fan capacity in their stadium for upcoming games while the Pittsburgh Steelers will allow a limited number of fans into their home game for the first time this season.
On Oct. 7, Governor Ron DeSantis lifted stadium capacity restrictions for all Florida sports teams. Despite this, the Miami Dolphins will still restrict the amount of fans they will allow into Hard Rock Stadium.
Florida has moved into phase 3 of it’s reopening plan. According to Skysports.com, this “repealed the requirement that businesses operate at limited capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.”
Skysports.com also reported that the Miami Dolphins have no intentions of allowing more than 13,000 fans to attend their games.
In a press release, Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel said the organization, “will continue to follow CDC guidelines and put everyone’s safety first.”
While the rate of positive cases in Florida remains stable, Garfinkel stressed the Dolphins want to keep fans and players safe. He added that the 13,000 capacity restriction will allow fans to adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
Similar to the Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers will restrict spectator access to their next game, allowing only 7,500 spectators when playing against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 11, according to NBC Sports.
This will be the first time spectators have been allowed into Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field this year.
According to Pennlive.com, 5,500 spectators represents 8% of Heinz Field’s 68,400 seating capacity. Nonetheless, this will be the first time the Eagles and Steelers have had live fan noise during games this year, a departure from the piped-in crowd noises from previous games.
Darius Slay, cornerback for the Eagles, is ready to hear booing at the Heinz Field this Sunday, Oct. 11. In an interview with Pennlive reporter Daniel Gallen, Slay said, “This might be the first time I like getting booed. Some big play might happen, make a play, silence the crowd. It’ll feel good.”
The Steelers will host the Eagles at 1 p.m. The Dolphin’s next home game will be on Oct. 25.