The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Monday that they will not be able to have fans in attendance for their four January home games.
The state of Pennsylvania and local regulations right now limit gatherings at places such as indoor arenas to 500 people, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Penguins games, that number includes players, coaches and hockey operations staff members from both the Penguins and the visiting team, plus PPG Paints Arena game-night staff members and the broadcast crews.
What is expected to be a small number of people left to reach the 500-person capacity will be taken up by players’ family and friends.
“We look forward to welcoming fans back to PPG Paints Arena as soon as state safety protocols and capacity limits allow for it,” Penguins COO Kevin Acklin said in a statement. “We will remain in regular contact with state and local authorities as well as the NHL and will make an announcement when fans are permitted to attend. The health and safety of our fans and players will always be our top priority.”
The four Penguins home games this month are Jan. 17 against Washington, Jan. 19 against Washington, Jan. 22 against the New York Rangers and Jan. 24 against the Rangers.
The team said in its statement that it will be in touch with season ticket holders.
As a comparison, the Steelers, at spacious outdoor Heinz Field, were not allowed to have fans at Sunday night’s playoff game beyond select players’ family and friends.