MLS is investigating an incident that left at least one person with a minor burn before the Wednesday night game against Italian soccer team Juventus.
Patrick Jahn told Channel 2's Matt Johnson that he spotted falling debris from a pregame pyrotechnics show inside the stadium. A piece of a sparkler hit his father's arm and pierced the skin, he said.
"If it's hot enough to burn through clothing, then it's hot enough to light something on fire," said Jahn.
"It's the safety aspect of it," the Atlanta United season ticket holder told the television station. "Somebody decided it was a good idea to shoot sparklers at the fans and not pay attention to what might happen afterwards."
An MLS statement sent to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed that “a limited amount of debris from the pyrotechnics fell into a section of the seating bowl.” One person received medical treatment at the venue’s first aid center, the statement said.
“Prior to the event, the pyrotechnic vendor engaged by Major League Soccer had conducted a number of tests in compliance with state and local laws and regulations,” the statement continued. “The safety and enjoyment of our fans is a top priority for Major League Soccer and we are continuing to investigate the incident.”
An Atlanta fire marshal responded but no major injuries were reported, Channel 2 said. Attendees also said the fog-like smoke from the pyrotechnics show remained in the stadium for a portion of the game.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosts the NFL Super Bowl in February 2019.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.