PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Steelers fans ditched their Christmas traditions Sunday to see their team take on the Ravens, but some kept the spirit of the holidays alive in the parking lots outside Heinz Field.

Most families spend their Christmas opening presents, sipping cocoa, eating a big meal and spending time at home with family.

But in a city fueled by a passion for sports, Steelers ticket holders shifted that December 25th tradition in a new direction.

So fans went over the river and on the parkway to embark on a holiday at Heinz Field to watch their beloved Steelers take on the Baltimore Ravens.

Samantha Sutherland said her whole family came in from Idaho for the game.

“For Christmas, and the game,” she said.

The spirit of the holidays could definitely be felt in the air – and in the parking lots.

“We decided to bring the whole Christmas tree and the dinner with ham and Christmas potatoes to cheer on our Steelers for a division championship right here,” Walt Opiela, from Wexford, said.

Pam Moniz, originally of Allison Park, returned to Pittsburgh from her home in Beremuda and brought her two sons for their first Steelers game.

“This is a wonderful Christmas present. All my family’s in. I brought seven [family members] with me, so we’re celebrating the game and celebrating Christmas,” she said.

A sentiment echoed by thousands of fans Sunday… Since Mother Nature didn’t provide a white Christmas, they opted for one gilded in gold and black.

“I got everything I wanted [for Christmas],” one of Opiela’s sons said. “Oh, yeah, well, we need the Steelers to win! That’s what we need.”

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