Can I Fly Drone Over an Empty Stadium? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone over an empty stadium?

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 an empty stadium?

In short, the answer is YES! You can fly drones over an empty stadium, but there are some important considerations and regulations to keep in mind.

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 an Empty Stadium

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones Over an Empty Stadium

Even though it’s allowed to fly drones over an empty stadium, here are some FAA regulations that you need to keep in mind:

  1. Flying drones in and around stadiums that seat 30,000 people or more is prohibited by law beginning one hour before and ending one hour after the scheduled time of any of the following events: Major League Baseball Game, National Football League Game, NCAA Division One Football Game, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series Race.
  2. The FAA’s rules and regulations only state that enthusiasts are not allowed to fly over stadiums during significant sporting events. This means that you are allowed to fly over empty stadiums with your drone.
  3. When the stadium is empty, and the temporary flight restriction is lifted, flying a drone over the stadium is perfectly legal.
  4. Before you launch your drone, make sure you’re following other FAA drone laws as well as your local county drone laws.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone over an empty stadium 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 an Empty Stadium

  1. Unauthorized access: Drones can potentially bypass security measures, allowing unauthorized individuals to access restricted areas within the stadium.
  2. Surveillance risk: Drones equipped with cameras can be used to gather sensitive information, posing a threat to the privacy of stadium facilities and operations.
  3. Interference: Drones can interfere with communication systems, disrupting stadium operations and impacting the safety of staff and emergency services.
  4. Malicious intent: Drones can be used for criminal or destructive purposes, such as smuggling contraband or causing damage to property or infrastructure.
  5. Accidents: Loss of control or technical malfunctions can lead to drone crashes, potentially causing injury to individuals or damage to the stadium.

Permissions and Permits

Flying a drone over an empty stadium requires obtaining permissions and permits from various authorities.

Firstly, you must ensure that your drone is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and you possess a valid Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate.

Additionally, you need to check compliance with local, state, and federal laws, as well as any regulations specific to the stadium or surrounding property. Stadiums often fall under restricted airspace due to their proximity to urban areas, airports, or other sensitive locations. Furthermore, you must obtain permission from the stadium owner or management, as unauthorized flights may be considered trespassing.

It is crucial to follow all guidelines and restrictions to ensure a safe and legal drone flight over an empty stadium.

Also check:


1. Can I Fly Drones Over an Empty Stadium if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

No, you cannot fly a drone over an empty stadium if you are not a licensed drone pilot. Flying a drone over a stadium, even when it’s empty, falls under restricted airspace due to safety and privacy concerns. The FAA requires a Part 107 certification for pilots intending to operate drones in such areas, and failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and penalties. Always ensure you have the proper certification and permissions before attempting to fly a drone in any restricted location.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones Over an Empty Stadium?

The authorization to fly a drone over an empty stadium typically falls under the jurisdiction of the stadium owner or management, as well as local aviation authorities. In most cases, you will need to obtain permission from the stadium owner and adhere to any regulations set by the aviation authority in your region, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. These authorities often have specific rules regarding airspace restrictions, altitude limitations, and no-fly zones, which must be followed to ensure safe and legal drone operations.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones Over an Empty Stadium?

Yes, the police can fly a drone over an empty stadium, provided they have the necessary permissions and follow the applicable regulations. Law enforcement agencies often utilize drones for various purposes, such as surveillance, security, and monitoring large gatherings. However, they are required to adhere to strict guidelines set by aviation authorities and local laws to ensure safety and privacy.


In conclusion, before flying a drone over an empty stadium, 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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