In something that is becoming a bit of a tradition, the Steelers will open the 2021 season on the road with a Week 1 trip to Buffalo on Sept. 12.
The road game in the first week of the season will mark the seventh straight time the Steelers have started their season away from Heinz Field.
“Certainly, we’d like to start at home one of these years, but there are a lot of different factors that go into it,” president Art Rooney II said to Steelers.com on Wednesday. So, we’ll just have to say we need a lot of Steelers fans to travel up to Buffalo Week 1.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates have home games the opening weekend of the 2021 NFL season, so the only opportunity for the Steelers to have a home game this year would have been to play on Sunday or Monday night. Though the teams have not shared a stadium since 2001, they share parking and other services on the North Shore, and have made efforts to not play at the same time whenever possible.
After going to Buffalo, the Steelers will host four of their next five games.
“We start out with four of our first six at home, which is always nice to start at home,” Rooney said. “Going up to Buffalo Week 1, that’ll be a challenge. It is a challenging schedule, no question about it.”
Rooney did say that appreciates the team being selected to play in the maximum of five prime time games, with three of those games coming at Heinz Field.
“If you have to have them, you’d rather have them at home,” he said. “It’s a mixed bag, obviously. The night games are a little tougher for the fans, but we also get the benefit of a big national audience and our fans around the country get to tune in. We’ll take as many prime time games as we can get, all things considered.”
The Steelers will play in prime time on Sunday, Oct. 17 against Seattle, Monday, Nov. 8 against Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 21 at the Los Angeles Chargers, Thursday, Dec. 9 at the Minnesota Vikings and Monday, Jan. 3 against Cleveland.