Mercedes-Benz Stadium is world’s first professional sports venue to employ cleaning drones

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium is no stranger to innovation and has once again introduced world-first technologies as it becomes the first professional sports venue to use drones to clean and sanitize the stadium.

As the team prepares to welcome back a limited number of fans to MBS for the Atlanta Falcons’ game against the Carolina Panthers on October 11, it has been testing the futuristic sanitation process using Lucid Drone Technologies’ D1 disinfecting drones that not only help cover the large area, but also in a much quicker time and less labor-intensive process.

Stadium operators were exploring the utilization of drones prior to the pandemic, but accelerated the process, making MBS the first professional sports stadium to adopt this cutting-edge technology. The drones utilize electrostatic spraying nozzles for even distribution of medical-grade disinfecting chemicals including an inhibitor that prevents harmful bacteria and virus to adhere to surfaces without leaving a residue. In addition, their unique, wrap-around effect helps distribute the disinfectant to hard-to-reach areas. The non-toxic Hypochlorous Acid solution used is in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for maximum effectiveness without being harmful.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stadium leadership worked with Lucid to implement its purpose-built drones that were designed specifically for disinfecting large facilities. This technology will be used for post-event disinfecting of the seating bowl, handrails, and glass partitions at the stadium. The drones allow for a 95 percent reduction in time spent cleaning the seating bowl and the ability to redeploy associates in other areas of the stadium and fourteen times more efficiency than regular backpack foggers.

“This stadium is incredibly large and as 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, 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 drone is the newest addition to the extensive MBS cleaning and sanitization program, which includes daily cleaning using GenEon’s ionized solution that kills harmful germs and bacteria, while being safe for humans. Additionally, the stadium added a Sanitation Team for hourly disinfecting, 600 hand sanitizer dispensers and monthly anti-viral coating to help reduce the risk of exposure and spread of the virus.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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