The NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United of Major League Soccer announce that both teams will play games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) with fans in limited capacity and following league protocols beginning with the Falcons' home game vs. the Carolina Panthers on October 11. Team and stadium officials made this decision based on several factors including the recent decline in COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia. Team officials will continue to collaborate with national and local health officials and reserve the right to return to play without fans should current conditions related to the global pandemic change.
The decision was made on August 17 to play without fans through the month of September affecting two Atlanta Falcons home games and three home matches for Atlanta United. Mercedes-Benz Stadium leadership has focused on the October 11 Falcons game as a target return date for fans based on the NFL's previously announced schedule. MLS is expected to announce the schedule for the second phase of MLS competition in the coming days.
"We are thrilled to invite fans of both the Falcons and Atlanta United back to Mercedes-Benz Stadium," says Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Sports and Entertainment. "Having fans watch from alternative locations was a difficult, but important decision. It's been challenging for both teams to play without fans, but their well-being as well as the safety of our associates and fans was paramount."
Since the start of the pandemic, AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE) leadership has taken important precautions to protect the health and safety of its associates, collaborating with health professionals as well as other organizations across the country to implement additional protocols to permit us to safely welcome fans back into the building. To further test stadium operations and protocols, the Falcons will host roughly 500 friends, family and associates for the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, September 27. This will allow the stadium operations team to assess and address any issues that might surface and be ready to have fans back in the building.
More information will be shared directly with season ticket members and fans in the coming weeks regarding ticket access and game day protocols.