Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the first professional sports venue to use innovative technology — drone-based technology — as part of a sanitizing program.
The stadium is in partnership with Lucid Drone Technologies, a cutting-edge company based out of Charlotte, NC, which offers disinfecting drones to sanitize key areas of the facility in an effective and efficient way. This method has already been tested as part of the stadium’s cleaning process.
According to AMB Sports and Entertainment chief operating officer, Dietmar Exler:
“The process of welcoming fans back involves actively listening and responding to their concerns and we understand that proper cleaning and sanitizing protocols are top of mind in the current environment. We have worked tirelessly to provide a safe environment for not only our associates, players, and staff, but especially our fans.”*
A press release pointed out that Stadium operators were considering whether it was wise to choose the option of using drones before the pandemic, however, because the coronavirus pandemic was fully underway, the potential for the use of the innovative approach was quickly expedited.
According to a press release:
“. . . the drones use electrostatic spraying nozzles to distribute medical-grade disinfecting chemicals — including an inhibitor that prevents harmful bacteria and viruses to adhere to surfaces without leaving a residue. The solution used is a non-toxic Hypochlorous Acid solution used in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for maximum effectiveness without being harmful.”*
The partner, Lucid Drone Technologies, implemented the drones that were designed specifically for disinfecting large facilities that will be used for post-event disinfecting the seating bowl, handrails, glass partitions at the stadium. In addition, the workers will 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, while providing more efficiency than the usual backpack foggers.
Building Operations Manager, Jackie Poulakos, shared:
“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. 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 partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Lucid Drone Technologies is heartening to those of us who recognize COVID-19 for what it is — a serious, and all too often, even deadly, virus.The fact that even though the stadium uses a Sanitation Team for hourly disinfecting, 600 hand sanitizer dispensers and monthly antiviral coating to help reduce the risk of exposure and spread of the virus, the Mercedes-Benz stadium also went yet another extra mile by hiring MBAs’ extensive cleaning and sanitization program with its use of drone-based technology.