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Atlanta Falcons to use drones to clean Mercedes-Benz Stadium after games

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The Atlanta Falcons plan to use disinfecting drones to sanitize Mercedes-Benz Stadium after games this season, the team announced Thursday.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium has partnered with Charlotte-based Lucid Drone Technologies for D1 disinfecting drones to sanitize key areas of the venue as it prepares to welcome fans back amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Falcons didn't allow fans to attend their first two home games of the season due to COVID-19, but the team will host a limited amount of spectators for their Oct. 11 game against the Carolina Panthers.

"The process of welcoming fans back involves actively listening and responding to their concerns and we understand that proper cleaning and sanitization protocols are top of mind in the current environment," Dietmar Exler, COO of AMB Sports and Entertainment, said in a statement Thursday.

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"We have worked tirelessly to provide a safe environment for not only our associates, players and staff, but especially our fans."

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium is believed to be the first professional sports venue to implement drones to disinfect its stadium amid the pandemic. Two drones will be used to clean the venue, and the team will have a third drone as a backup.

The drones use electrostatic spraying nozzles for even distribution of medical-grade disinfecting chemicals, including an inhibitor that prevents harmful bacteria and virus from adhering to surfaces. According to the company, the non-toxic hypochlorous acid solution is in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards.

The Falcons (0-3) have six more home games this season, including their NFC South opener against the Panthers on Oct. 11.

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