Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said this week that there was a chance and athletic director Heather Lyke said that the school is ready, but there will be no fans at Heinz Field for Saturday’s Pitt home game against NC State.
The state, which has certified Pitt’s plan to return to play during the pandemic, has not been willing to budge from its stance that the stated maximum of 250 participants can be safely exceeded at Heinz Field, despite public lobbying from Narduzzi and Lyke.
“While we remain in communication with the appropriate agencies, nothing at this juncture has changed regarding our opportunities to host fans at Heinz Field,” said a Pitt athletics spokesperson.
The game will be fourth straight to start the season in which Heinz Field has sat empty on a Pitt Saturday. The school and their co-tenants, the Pittsburgh Steelers had previously announced that there would be no fans for any of the teams’ games in September, leaving the door open to a return for fans on Oct. 3, but an agreement could not be reached in time.
Pitt will go on the road on Oct. 10 to face Boston College and Oct. 17 at Miami. There will not be fans at Boston College, while Miami is planning on continuing to host a limited number of fans.
The Steelers had their game at the Tennessee Titans canceled on Sunday due to a COVID-19 outbreak involving at least 14 members of the Titans organization. The Steelers will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 11 in the next event scheduled for Heinz Field.
Pitt’s next home game is slated to be held on Oct. 24 against Notre Dame.