Aerial View of Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- The National Football League and Major League Soccer announced Monday that the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United will both play scheduled September games at Mercedes-Benz stadium without fans in attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Team and stadium officials say they will continue to collaborate with national and local health officials in the coming weeks before deciding on fan attendance at events scheduled later in the fall.

“The health and safety of our fans is our top priority,” said Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Sports and Entertainment. “As much as we want to bring our Falcons and Atlanta United fans together at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, their safety and well-being, and that of our associates, the competitors, officials and game staff, and our community as a whole will always come first. After thoughtful consideration and collaboration, it became clear to us that adhering to the guidance by national and local health officials was the right decision.”

This decision will affect two Falcons home games, including the home opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 13 and the Sept. 27 game against the Chicago Bears. Atlanta United previously announced that the team would be playing with no fans in attendance for the first phase of MLS continuation of play in local markets, including the club’s three home matches, Aug. 22 against Nashville SC, Aug. 29 against Orlando City SC and Sept. 2 against Inter Miami CF. The schedule for the second phase of competition has not yet been released and may include additional September home matches, which would be played without fans.

Since the start of the pandemic, AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE) leadership say they have taken important precautions to protect the health and safety of their associates. Over the past several months, Stadium and team leaders collaborated with health professionals, as well as other organizations across the country to implement additional protocols to permit them to safely welcome fans back into the building. However, due to the most recent guidance from public health and government officials, AMBSE leadership says it determined the potential risks of having large numbers of fans together are too significant.

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