- The Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium will become the first professional sports venue to use drones to clean the stadium
- Drone technology to reduce cleaning time by 95% and allow a more thorough clean of the stadium
- Carolina Panthers have become the first team to use a “germ-zapping robot” to clean facilities within their Bank of America Stadium
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll across the globe, but it appears a pair of NFL teams are using modern technology to help fight the virus and keep their respective facilities as sanitary as possible.
Falcons to Use Drones to Clean Stadium
After the Falcon’s October 11 game against the Carolina Panthers, the team will use two drones to sanitize Mercedes-Benz stadium, partnering with a Charlotte-based drone technology company in an effort to help fight the coronavirus within their facility.
The Falcons partnered with Lucid Drone Technologies that use D1 disinfecting drones to sanitize areas. The drones utilize electrostatic spraying nozzles for even distribution of medical-grade disinfecting chemicals that include an inhibitor that prevents bacteria and virus from adhering to surfaces without leaving behind a residue.
The nontoxic acid solution is in compliance with Environmental Protecting Agency standards, according to Lucid.
The team will also add a third drone as backup.
The news comes as some NFL teams – including the Falcons – will welcome a limited capacity of fans after not having any fans through the first two home games of the season. Mercedes-Benz Stadium allowed 500 family, friend and associates in the stadium for a test run this past Sunday in their game against the Bears.
“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,” said Dietmar Exler, COO of AMB Sports and Entertainment. “We have worked tirelessly to provide a safe environment for not only our associates, players and staff, but especially our fans.”
Drone Technology to Greatly Reduce Cleaning Time
The drone technology will be used for post-event disinfecting of the stadium’s seating bowl, handrails and glass partitions. The drones allow for a 95% reduction of the time needed to clean the seating bowl, giving the staff far greater efficiency in their sanitization efforts. Elsewhere in the facility.
“This stadium is incredibly large, and we begin to slowly welcome fans back, these drones allow us to maximize the time between games and private events to thoroughly sanitize,” said Jackie Poulakos, manager of building operations. “We are always challenged by leadership to continually innovate and this new technology is the ideal solution to effectively disinfect and sanitize our stadium in an efficient manner.”
The Falcons will certainly hope the new sanitization efforts will bring greater fortune for their on-field results as the team is 0-3 through the first three weeks of the season, blowing sizeable leads in both Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys and Week 3 against the Chicago Bears.
Panthers Using “Germ-Zapping” Robots
The Falcons aren’t the first NFL team to use modern technology to help with sanitization efforts as the Carolina Panthers have apparently beat them to the punch.
While the Falcons will be the first franchise to use drones as a cleaning device, the Panthers have been using “germ-zapping robots” for some time. The nickname was given by team president Tom Glick.
The Xenex LightStrike Robot is being hailed as the world’s only proven coronavirus-killing Xenon UV-Ray Robot. According to the company, the robot is 99.9% effective at killing the coronavirus germ within two minutes.
“What you put in an operating room at a hospital, we want to make sure we had for our locker room and weight room and our suites and restroom,” Glick said. “We’ve been using them all summer and we’re using them in advance and after the game on Sunday.”
The Panthers will allow 5,240 fans into Bank of America Stadium for their Week 4 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, another team that is easing fans back into the facility.
The Panthers will also need some better fortune moving forward as rookie head coach Matt Rhule’s team is 1-2 through the first three weeks of the NFL season.
The trying times that come alongside the COVID-19 pandemic continue to roll on, but it’s a big positive to see business continue to innovate with modern technology in an effort to combat the virus.