x
Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

Falcons, Atlanta United games to be played without fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium through September

'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'

ATLANTA — Although the long wait for sports to return has ended, Atlanta football and soccer fans will still have to watch their favorite teams at a distance.

Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United announced on Monday that that both teams will play its scheduled September games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium without fans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The health and safety of our fans is our top priority,” Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Sports and Entertainment said.

Atlanta United previously announced that the team would be playing with no fans 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 yet.

RELATED: Atlanta Sports Awards | Atlanta United star Josef Martínez named top pro athlete

As for the Falcons, this decision will impact the team's home opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 13 and the Sept. 27 game against the Chicago Bears.

 “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," Cannon added.

Team and stadium officials plan on continuing their collaboration with health officials before they decide when fans can attend events.

RELATED: Former running back becomes first Black NFL team president

Gov. Brian Kemp also reacted to the announcement on Twitter by saying: "Although this news is certainly disappointing for Falcons and Atlanta United fans, we appreciate the organizations’ leadership in prioritizing the health of players, coaches, staff, and fans."