Can I Fly Drone Over a Football Game? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone over a football game?

Before you take off, it’s important to know whether or not it’s legal to do so. The rules and regulations regarding drone flight can vary depending on the location, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

In this article, I’ll answer the question: can you fly a drone over a football game?

In short, the answer is NO! You cannot fly drones over a football game due to safety and security concerns.

The laws around drone flight can be complex. So, I’ll also let you know about FAA regulations, security concerns, permissions needed, and penalties (if any) so that you’re fully informed.

Can I Fly Drone Over a Football Game

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones Over a Football Game

Due to the following FAA regulations, you are not allowed to fly drones over a football game:

  1. Flying drones in and around stadiums with a seating capacity of 30,000 or more is prohibited by law one hour before and one hour after the following events: Major League Baseball Games, National Football League Games, NCAA Division One Football Games, and NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series Races.
  2. The FAA requires airspace authorization for drone operators to request access to controlled airspace. This is the mechanism to seek Air Traffic Control (ATC) approval for operating in controlled airspace.
  3. Airspace authorizations can be requested for specific locations or broader areas governed by a single ATC jurisdiction.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone over a football game comes with its own set of unique security concerns, which are worth considering before launching your drone. Here are some potential security concerns to keep in mind.

Security Concerns for Flying Drones Over a Football Game

  1. Privacy Violation: Drones can capture sensitive information or images of players, staff, and spectators without their consent.
  2. Public Safety: A drone crash or malfunction could cause injuries to both players and spectators, posing a serious safety risk.
  3. Unauthorized Filming: Drone operators may record and broadcast copyrighted game footage without permission, leading to legal issues.
  4. Interference: Drones could distract players, disrupt the game, or even collide with other airborne objects, like a football or a goal post.
  5. Security Threat: Drones could be used for malicious purposes, such as smuggling contraband or conducting surveillance for criminal activities.

Permissions and Permits

In order to fly a drone over a football game, obtaining the necessary permissions and permits would be required.

However, it is important to note that acquiring such authorization is not possible due to safety and privacy concerns. Stadiums and sporting events are generally considered as “no-fly zones” for drones, and the airspace above them is strictly regulated.

Flying a drone without proper permission in these areas could lead to legal consequences, fines, and even confiscation of the equipment. It is essential to respect these regulations and prioritize the safety and well-being of all the individuals involved in the event.

Penalties for Flying a Drone without Authorization

Penalties for flying drones without authorization over a football game can be quite severe. In a previous case, a pilot who operated a drone during an NFL game received a punishment of 24 months probation and a $25,000 fine. However, the consequences could be even more severe, with the maximum fine for such a violation reaching up to $100,000 and a year in jail.

Also check:


1. Can I Fly Drones Over a Football Game if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

If you are not a licensed drone pilot, flying a drone over a football game is strictly prohibited. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has guidelines and regulations in place to ensure the safety and privacy of individuals attending public events. Flying a drone over a crowded area without proper authorization can lead to fines, legal penalties, and even confiscation of your drone. To legally fly your drone in such situations, you must obtain the necessary certifications and permissions from the FAA and event organizers.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones Over a Football Game?

The authorization to use drones over a football game typically lies with the stadium owner or event organizer, who may grant permission to operate the drone. However, the drone operator must also comply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which include obtaining necessary waivers and ensuring that the drone flight does not pose a risk to public safety or infringe on restricted airspace. It is essential for drone operators to familiarize themselves with the FAA guidelines and seek appropriate permissions before attempting to fly a drone over a football game.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones Over a Football Game?

Yes, the police can fly a drone over a football game, provided they have the necessary permissions and follow the guidelines set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local laws. Police use drones to monitor large events, such as football games, for safety and security purposes. They can help provide real-time information, crowd control, and emergency response. However, it is essential for the police to respect privacy laws and ensure that they are not violating any individual’s rights while using drones for surveillance.


In conclusion, before flying a drone over a football game, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the appropriate resources and tools. Download the B4UFLY mobile app to easily find safe and legal flying locations.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

And if you have a related query, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments.

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Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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