Well before Super Bowl comes to California, host city bans drones over stadiums

Levi’s Stadium crowd on August 17, 2014. (credit: Jim Bahn)

Kickoff for Super Bowl 50 is not scheduled until February 7, 2016, but Santa Clara is getting ready now. The city has a new local law imposing a half-mile “no-fly zone” over Levi’s Stadium (home of the San Francisco 49ers), the Santa Clara University stadium, and “within or over any sporting and/or large venue special event.”

The ordinance, which took effect on September 19 and was first reported by Government Technology, stipulates that violation of the law would be treated as a misdemeanor. However, the law also notes that the drone in question could be confiscated by local authorities. Earlier this month, a man was arrested near the US Open tennis tournament in New York City after a drone crashed into the stands.

This Silicon Valley city’s law is on top of an existing 2014 Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) No. FDC 4/3621, which marked the first time US flight regulators have moved to criminally punish wayward drone pilots.

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