Some Atlanta Falcons fans will be able to see their favorite team play a home game in-person in less than a month.
In an official statement released Tuesday afternoon, the club said:
"The NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United of Major League Soccer announce that both teams will play games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) with fans in limited capacity and following league protocols beginning with the Falcons' home game vs. the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 11. Team and stadium officials made this decision based on several factors including the recent decline in COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia. Team officials will continue to collaborate with national and local health officials and reserve the right to return to play without fans should current conditions related to the global pandemic change."
Additionally, 500 "friends, family and associates" will be welcomed to this Sunday's game between the Falcons and Chicago Bears played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This is to serve as a test of health and safety protocols and operations.
Atlanta did not permit spectators for its season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, which the Falcons lost 38-25. Last Sunday, the Falcons squandered a 20-point lead and fell to the Dallas Cowboys 40-39 on the road.
The Falcons didn't unveil a stadium capacity for the Week 5 showdown with the Panthers. Per Vaughn McClure of ESPN, the organization originally intended to allow between 10,000-20,000 fans until it decided the Week 1 game versus Seattle would occur behind closed doors.