PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Steelers opened their season Monday night with a win over the New York Giants. It started the quest for a seventh Lombardi Trophy for the black and gold and marked the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“We’re big Steelers fans,” Al Meyers from the Mexican War Streets said.
“It kind of snuck up on me. I wasn’t ready for it. No preseason. With COVID messing up the draft and everything, I wasn’t prepared for it,” South Side resident Charles Harris said.
Games will look different with coaches and players in masks on the sidelines.
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For fans, it’s going to be a different experience with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Don’t expect packed bars and restaurants because they still have capacity limits.
“If I can find an empty-ish kind of bar with some friends, then I’ll probably do that,” Harris said with a chuckle. “Other than that, I’ll stay at home and if they were to open up games, I wouldn’t want to attend this year. “
“We’re old. We’re happy to sit in our reclining chairs and watch it on TV,” Jan Meyers said with a laugh.
But the new season could give restaurants a much-needed boost. At Primanti Bros. in Cranberry Township, managers said Monday night’s game wouldn’t draw the traditional Steelers crowd with indoor dining restricted to 25 percent capacity.
Still, most of the tables available for seating were filled by kickoff.
“There’s all those stipulations in place. But ultimately, it’s still just about getting to come to a place to be able to watch the game,” Ryan Wilkinson, director of marketing, said.
All coronavirus restrictions were enforced, and the restaurant allowed patrons to keep their tables for the entire game.
“You’re going to do it further apart from people than you would have before,” Wilkinson said. “You’re going to do it with a mask on when you’re up from your table, but it’s the same atmosphere as always.”
The Steelers have already announced they will not have fans for at least the first two home games. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says there would have to be a significant decline in cases to let fans back inside NFL stadiums.
“It’s exciting whether you got all that hype that we have with the NFL now or not. It’s still good. It’s a good game,” Jan Myers said.
“I know I missed it. It’s a big distraction. It’s also something that brings us all together. Something we can all enjoy,” Harris said.
The Steelers home opener will be Sunday against the Denver Broncos. You’ll be able to catch that game on KDKA.