The Authoritative Guide to Estimating Attendance at Heinz Field

UPitt '89

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Mar 14, 2002
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Since it is clear that we will never rid Pitt fans of their obsession over attendance I thought, as someone who has attended 99% of all Pitt games at Heinz Field since 2001, I could offer a handy guide to accurately guessing the attendance at the venue.


Rule 1 - Timing Matters:

Wait until near the end of the 1st quarter to make your estimate. If you estimate at kickoff, you will be wrong. A good 15-20% of Pitt fans aren't in their seats at kickoff.

Rule 2 - the Lower Bowl:

The lower bowl yellow seats hold 33,000 fans. Example: For Clemson, the lower bowl yellow seats were about 95% full. So that's 31-32k.

Rule 3 - the Club Seats:

The gray club seats hold 8,000 fans. Whatever your guess at how full the club seats are, multiply by 1.5. At any given moment, at least 1/3 of the people with club seats are in the club and NOT in their seats. Example: For Clemson, the club seats looked about 70% full... which means they were 100% full. So that's 8k.

Rule 4 - The Private Boxes:

The Private boxes seat about 1,400 fans. For just about any game, you can assume 1,000+, even though you can't see them. Example: For Clemson, that's the full 1,400.

Rule 5 - The Upper Deck North Endzone:

The Upper Deck Endzone bleachers hold 5,000 fans. Example: For Clemson, this was about 60% full. That's 3k.

Rule 6 - The Upper Deck Visitor Side:

The Upper Deck visitor side holds 10,500 fans. Example: For Clemson, this was about 30% full. That's 3k.

Rule 7 - The Upper Deck Home Side:

The Upper Deck home side holds 10,500 fans. Example: For Clemson, this was about 75% full. That's 8k.

Addendum to Rule 6 & 7:

Fans who can only see the visitor side, incorrectly assume the home side is as sparsely filled. Fans who can only see the home side, incorrectly assume the visitor side is as robustly filled. Rule of thumb if you can only see one side: The home side upper deck will have double the fans as the visitor side upper deck in almost all circumstances.

The Glass Half-Full/Empty Auxiliary:

If you are a Glass Half-Full Pitt Apologist, subtract 10% from your final estimate. If you are a Glass Half-Empty Self-Loathing Yinzer, add 10% to your estimate.




Example: So let's take the Clemson game. Given the above rules, one can confidently estimate that about 55,000 people were in the stadium. The optimist would say 58,000, the pessimist would say 52,000. Anybody who says more than 58,000, or less than 52,000, is unequivocally wrong.


Print this out, laminate it, stick it in your pocket, and take it to the games with you.
 
Last edited:

Upg bobcat

Freshman
Oct 14, 2019
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You're telling us the upper deck end zone is only 5,000 seats? We've been told repeatedly that tarping that section was going to solve all of our problems.
 

UPitt '89

Board of Trustee
Gold Member
Mar 14, 2002
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You're telling us the upper deck end zone is only 5,000 seats? We've been told repeatedly that tarping that section was going to solve all of our problems.
I believe people want the upper end zone, as well as large chunks of the upper sidelines, tarped.

If you tarp the upper end zone and the upper visitor side... you reduce the capacity of Heinz from 68,500 to 53,500.
 
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TJFAIRLIE

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Mar 13, 2018
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Out of curiosity, what is the corner section that seemed to be empty even during the Clemson game?

(as seen on the left in this pic)

Genuine question, I’ve never been to a Pitt game

 

UPitt '89

Board of Trustee
Gold Member
Mar 14, 2002
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And it tends to be in higher demand than either side of the field. I actually like sitting up there for Steeler games.
To each his own... .but I can't imagine liking bleacher seats over individual seats.

In bleachers, all the fat people in the row can "squeeze" you out of your seat if you get up to go to the bathroom or get concessions. This was a problem at Pitt stadium too.

At least with individual seats, no fatty is going to encroach on my seat if I get up.

Of course... this only applies for games with larger attendance. Most games, I assume you can stretch out pretty good up there.
 
Oct 25, 2021
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To each his own... .but I can't imagine liking bleacher seats over individual seats.

In bleachers, all the fat people in the row can "squeeze" you out of your seat if you get up to go to the bathroom or get concessions. This was a problem at Pitt stadium too.

At least with individual seats, no fatty is going to encroach on my seat if I get up.

Of course... this only applies for games with larger attendance. Most games, I assume you can stretch out pretty good up there.

I agree in principle, but if you get someone who is big enough they can definitely squeeze you out in the seats, too. This just happened to me at the Miami game. I had to start making sure I always sat down before he did so I could establish some elbow space.

But there were times I sat in the bleachers for Steeler games and arrived late, and there was basically nowhere to sit. My seat was gone... Engulfed by the corpulent ass cheeks of carb-lovin' yinzers.
 

pittdan77

Athletic Director
Jan 5, 2011
15,763
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The Vast Wasteland of Central Pennsylvania
To each his own... .but I can't imagine liking bleacher seats over individual seats.

In bleachers, all the fat people in the row can "squeeze" you out of your seat if you get up to go to the bathroom or get concessions. This was a problem at Pitt stadium too.

At least with individual seats, no fatty is going to encroach on my seat if I get up.

Of course... this only applies for games with larger attendance. Most games, I assume you can stretch out pretty good up there.
It's not too much better in the individual seats. Those kind of people spill over the sides of the seat anyway. As a former fat slob, I understand this better than most.
 

JohnnyGossamer

Heisman Winner
Gold Member
Aug 28, 2010
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I believe people want the upper end zone, as well as large chunks of the upper sidelines, tarped.

If you tarp the upper end zone and the upper visitor side... you reduce the capacity of Heinz from 68,500 to 53.500.
This is my suggestion. Tarp both completely unless demand dictates otherwise.
 

Zeldas Open Roof

All P I T T !
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Sep 18, 2018
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I’ll take the 500s, on the shady side, between the 40s over every other seat in Heinz stadium.

Well besides the club section but I’ll be in the bar anyways.
 

JohnnyGossamer

Heisman Winner
Gold Member
Aug 28, 2010
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I’ll take the 500s, on the shady side, between the 40s over every other seat in Heinz stadium.

Well besides the club section but I’ll be in the bar anyways.
That's why I'd never ever tarp both upper decks. Always leave entire home side available. Tarp end zone and away side uppers.
 

recruitsreadtheseboards

Lair Hall of Famer
Gold Member
Jun 11, 2006
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Since it is clear that we will never rid Pitt fans of their obsession over attendance I thought, as someone who has attended 99% of all Pitt games at Heinz Field since 2001, I could offer a handy guide to accurately guessing the attendance at the venue.


Rule 1 - Timing Matters:

Wait until near the end of the 1st quarter to make your estimate. If you estimate at kickoff, you will be wrong. A good 15-20% of Pitt fans aren't in their seats at kickoff.

Rule 2 - the Lower Bowl:

The lower bowl yellow seats hold 33,000 fans. Example: For Clemson, the lower bowl yellow seats were about 95% full. So that's 31-32k.

Rule 3 - the Club Seats:

The gray club seats hold 8,000 fans. Whatever your guess at how full the club seats are, multiply by 1.5. At any given moment, at least 1/3 of the people with club seats are in the club and NOT in their seats. Example: For Clemson, the club seats looked about 70% full... which means they were 100% full. So that's 8k.

Rule 4 - The Private Boxes:

The Private boxes seat about 1,400 fans. For just about any game, you can assume 1,000+, even though you can't see them. Example: For Clemson, that's the full 1,400.

Rule 5 - The Upper Deck North Endzone:

The Upper Deck Endzone bleachers hold 5,000 fans. Example: For Clemson, this was about 60% full. That's 3k.

Rule 6 - The Upper Deck Visitor Side:

The Upper Deck visitor side holds 10,500 fans. Example: For Clemson, this was about 30% full. That's 3k.

Rule 7 - The Upper Deck Home Side:

The Upper Deck home side holds 10,500 fans. Example: For Clemson, this was about 75% full. That's 8k.

Addendum to Rule 6 & 7:

Fans who can only see the visitor side, incorrectly assume the home side is as sparsely filled. Fans who can only see the home side, incorrectly assume the visitor side is a robustly filled. Rule of thumb if you can only see one side: The home side will have double the fans as the visitor side in almost all circumstances.

The Glass Half-Full/Empty Auxiliary:

If you are a Glass Half-Full Pitt Apologist, subtract 10% to your final estimate. If you are a Glass Half-Empty Self-Loathing Yinzer, add 10% to your estimate.




Example: So let's take the Clemson game. Given the above rules, one can confidently estimate that about 55,000 people were in the stadium. The optimist would say 58,000, the pessimist would say 52,000. Anybody who says more than 58,000, or less than 52,000, is unequivocally wrong.


Print this out, laminate it, stick it in your pocket, and take it to the games with you.
Well done.
 

Sean Miller Fan

Lair Hall of Famer
Oct 30, 2001
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That, or you could use SMF's method of counting every seat instead of watching the game.

I am counting the upper deck visitor side and endzone. When I do this, I always wait until towards the end of the 1st Quarter or in thr 2nd Quarter. There will be less than 1000 people in those 15,500 seats so if the rest of the stadium is filled to capacity, the crowd can't be any larger than 53,900
 

MarshallGoldberg

All Conference
Oct 23, 2017
5,346
3,255
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Tarp the upper deck corners, to the 10-20 yd line both sides
No I Dont Think I Will GIFs | Tenor
 
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UPitt '89

Board of Trustee
Gold Member
Mar 14, 2002
25,577
14,400
113
It's not too much better in the individual seats. Those kind of people spill over the sides of the seat anyway. As a former fat slob, I understand this better than most.
When you say "as a former fat slob".... are you saying you are no longer fat? Or no longer a slob? Or both?
 
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HailToPitt725

Heisman Winner
May 16, 2016
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Rule 1 - Timing Matters:

Wait until near the end of the 1st quarter to make your estimate. If you estimate at kickoff, you will be wrong. A good 15-20% of Pitt fans aren't in their seats at kickoff.
So you’re saying the photos that Central Pennsylvania football fans use of pregame warmups are *not* accurate depictions of game attendance? :eek:
 

pittdan77

Athletic Director
Jan 5, 2011
15,763
10,222
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The Vast Wasteland of Central Pennsylvania
When you say "as a former fat slob".... are you saying you are no longer fat? Or no longer a slob? Or both?
I guess the slob part is open for interpretation but I no longer weigh 367 pounds. I've been back down to what I weighed in HS or lower for about five years. Was 257 when I last checked. But I have experience with not fitting in seats and I'm married to someone who is not pleasant to sit next to for the reasons you described and some others.
 
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Conemaugh

Redshirt
May 8, 2020
823
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I’ll take the 500s, on the shady side, between the 40s over every other seat in Heinz stadium.

Well besides the club section but I’ll be in the bar anyways.
Yup. I agree. The sun on the visitor side is killer during the noon starts early in the season. By the back end of the season we are in the "4 months without sunshine" portion of the calendar year, so there is no difference between the home and visitor side except for the pitt bench and nice view of the city from the home side.
 

Sean Miller Fan

Lair Hall of Famer
Oct 30, 2001
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Yup. I agree. The sun on the visitor side is killer during the noon starts early in the season. By the back end of the season we are in the "4 months without sunshine" portion of the calendar year, so there is no difference between the home and visitor side except for the pitt bench and nice view of the city from the home side.

The non-TV upper deck side needs closed. The TV audience (and recruits) need to see people in the stands. The 2 games per year we play in extreme heat are not a reason to have an entirely empty TV upper deck.
 

FreeportPanther

Board of Trustee
Gold Member
Jul 25, 2001
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So why not put all of the fat people in the upper decks. They fill two seats and make it look full. Problem solved on Pantherlair.
Better check the weight limit on the girders before getting too carried away with this.
Seeing the upper deck collapse onto the club seats would not be a good look and would really pi$$ the Rooney's off for ruining their baby!
 

Burgh15

Senior
Jan 10, 2015
4,373
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The non-TV upper deck side needs closed. The TV audience (and recruits) need to see people in the stands. The 2 games per year we play in extreme heat are not a reason to have an entirely empty TV upper deck.
Never going to happen. Fans want to sit on the home side for several reasons, including it's Pitt's sideline, they get to watch the band, and it's shaded.