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Volume 26 No. 5
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Steelers Under Capacity For First Home Primetime Game Of Season

From '13-17, the Steelers drew an average of just 59,938 fans for primetime kickoffs at Heinz Field
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Steelers last night drew a crowd of 62,030 to Heinz Field (capacity of 68,400) for their "SNF" game against the Ravens, their first primetime game of the season, this coming after President Art Rooney II in August said that he feels night games are a "drag on the team’s draw at the gate," according to Adam Bittner of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. A five-year sampling of Steelers attendance figures "seems to confirm" Rooney's suspicions. The Steelers from '13-17 "drew an average of just 59,938 fans for prime-time kickoffs at Heinz Field," which was "by far their worst performance in any of the NFL’s three primary broadcast windows." There seems to be a "pretty hard cap on interest in late matchups," as none of the 11 night games since '13 "managed to draw a crowd at or above Heinz Field’s current capacity of 68,400, or even its former capacity of 65,500." The "most popular kickoff time" for Steelers fans is 4:25pm ET. Games in that slot "attracted the five largest crowds in the five-year sampling, as well as a robust average of 65,754." Games at 1:00pm also "performed fairly well despite a few late-season matchups irrelevant to the playoff race dragging their numbers down." Their average of 61,715 "still beats the average for night games pretty handily." The Steelers "calculate attendance by tickets scanned rather than sold" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/29).