DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

Got a visit while flying near Denver Broncos stadium today at 5:40am

zlek131

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
172
Reactions
322
Location
Denver CO
Went out this morning to capture the 5:40am sunrise. I was flying near Empower Field at Mile High in Denver CO. I did not launch from or physically was on the stadium's property. There were no applicable TFRs and AirHub Portal said I was good to go. Also, given the next Broncos game is over 2200 hours away, I was well within the one hour before/after the FAA/NFL game no fly regulation :) Security truck pulled up and the security guard asked me if I was flying a drone. I told him that yes, I was flying a drone. He said that they picked up my drone and that I could not fly over the stadium. I told him I was not flying over the stadium, nor do I plan to, and that I was a FAA Part 107 certified remote pilot. He instantly backed off and said that I was OK as long as I wasn't flying directly over the stadium and left as I gave him the thumbs up. I fly a lot around Denver as I enjoy aerial photography, but this was the first time ever that anyone questioned my flying. I have taken lots of captures on this stadium over the years, however never directly over it as I typically frame my shots with the downtown skyline in the backdrop nor do I wish to push the envelope. All that being said, had I been flying directly over a 100% empty NFL stadium at 5:40am, with no TFRs in place and 2200+ hours before the next event, would I be breaking any FAA regulations? Based on my understanding, the answer is, no I would not be. What are your thoughts? BTW, the sunrise wasn't a good one.

Empower Field at Mile High.jpg
 
Gorgeous shot!

I can't think of any reason in general from the FAA rules. Not familiar with local or state law, so you should check.

Were I want to fly over the stadium and get some direct overhead shots (and I would), I'd contact the management office and find out. Also what that authority was for any restriction.

I'm guessing they are protecting both the value of image rights, and from adverse use of images of the stadium. If someone wants a picture of the stadium, you have to pay for it, and it's only an "official" shot from them where they've controlled the composition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zlek131
I'm guessing they are protecting both the value of image rights, and from adverse use of images of the stadium. If someone wants a picture of the stadium, you have to pay for it, and it's only an "official" shot from them where they've controlled the composition.

This was my thought as well, although I think in reality it would only apply to you selling the images and/or using them commercially and not simply taking them (IME stock footage sites generally let you sell this type of stuff but the end use is limited to things like educational use). But of course that won't stop them from trying to shoo you away, regardless of what the law actually says about it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zlek131
This was my thought as well, although I think in reality it would only apply to you selling the images and/or using them commercially and not simply taking them (IME stock footage sites generally let you sell this type of stuff but the end use is limited to things like educational use). But of course that won't stop them from trying to shoo you away, regardless of what the law actually says about it.

Even if that's the motivation, I'd expect them to assume that risk exists with a stranger, and deny permission regardless of what the pilot says.

It may very well be more innocuous, they simply want to keep a record of who takes pictures, a drone is easy to impose such restrictions on, so...

Maybe just asking will get permission. I'd ask.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zlek131
Even if that's the motivation, I'd expect them to assume that risk exists with a stranger, and deny permission regardless of what the pilot says.

It may very well be more innocuous, they simply want to keep a record of who takes pictures, a drone is easy to impose such restrictions on, so...

Maybe just asking will get permission. I'd ask.

Except that permission is not theirs to grant? I'm not saying one shouldn't ask, or that asking isn't good practice (I wouldn't but that's just me), just that the stadium has no authority to refuse under the circumstances outlined by the OP.

Edit: I'll add that I think the OP handled it well by not escalating. And in a scenario where the security team is insistent, my course of action would be to just pack up. Regardless of their authority or lack thereof, there's rarely value in standing your ground and battles should be chosen carefully.
 
Last edited:
Sounds like an over-zealous security team; I have encountered similar. However, I did not have that problem when flying over Truman Sports Complex in KC (home of the Royals and Chiefs).
 
Detecting a drone with equipment does not equal a crime in progress that needs to be dealt with. I'm sure security has cameras and they see cars come into the lot and they don't rush out to immediately confront them, do they? People want to get pictures of the places they have most likely paid for and supported immensely and need to stop being treated as if they are breaking the law. Sure the team and the stadium are private property but anything in public which I can see with my eyes, I can take a picture of it or make a video of it. If each league has a problem, go to Youtube and try to quash the thousands of stadium videos and the hundreds of stadium drone videos out there.

To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.
To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

Perhaps they are trying to restrict the footage to professional organizations like these and running off the recreational flyers:

To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.
To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

Maybe one of these is your video?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Cafguy
Gorgeous shot!

I can't think of any reason in general from the FAA rules. Not familiar with local or state law, so you should check.

Were I want to fly over the stadium and get some direct overhead shots (and I would), I'd contact the management office and find out. Also what that authority was for any restriction.

I'm guessing they are protecting both the value of image rights, and from adverse use of images of the stadium. If someone wants a picture of the stadium, you have to pay for it, and it's only an "official" shot from them where they've controlled the composition.
Thank you for your feedback and the kind words on the photo. Drones aside, my understanding is that if I can take a picture of any structure accessible to the public or get within the vicinity of the structure and snap a photograph, I am good to go regardless what I do with the photo (as long as the structure doesn't have a sign or policy stating that taking photographs is prohibited. I believe the same applies to creating a painting of a structure. Once you paint it it's your work/creativity. Perhaps I my understanding is incorrect.
 
This was my thought as well, although I think in reality it would only apply to you selling the images and/or using them commercially and not simply taking them (IME stock footage sites generally let you sell this type of stuff but the end use is limited to things like educational use). But of course that won't stop them from trying to shoo you away, regardless of what the law actually says about it.
Thank you for your feedback. Please see my reply to Droning on and on...
 
Sounds like an over-zealous security team; I have encountered similar. However, I did not have that problem when flying over Truman Sports Complex in KC (home of the Royals and Chiefs).
Thanks for your feedback. Just for the record, I may live in Denver and capture the Broncos stadium, however, I am a diehard CHIEFS fan! LOL
 
  • Like
Reactions: LongRifle
Except that permission is not theirs to grant? I'm not saying one shouldn't ask, or that asking isn't good practice (I wouldn't but that's just me), just that the stadium has no authority to refuse under the circumstances outlined by the OP.

Edit: I'll add that I think the OP handled it well by not escalating. And in a scenario where the security team is insistent, my course of action would be to just pack up. Regardless of their authority or lack thereof, there's rarely value in standing your ground and battles should be chosen carefully.
Agreed and I would never escalate as it's never worth it.
 
I was caught on Gillette stadiums property by security b4 launching by several security vehicles, and was told to go to the operations office for approval, and pay 500 if I wished to (by the way it was off season)... Then someone from one of the forums I was in told me where to go off of their property where they fly from all the time w/o issue ?
 
Went out this morning to capture the 5:40am sunrise. I was flying near Empower Field at Mile High in Denver CO. I did not launch from or physically was on the stadium's property. There were no applicable TFRs and AirHub Portal said I was good to go. Also, given the next Broncos game is over 2200 hours away, I was well within the one hour before/after the FAA/NFL game no fly regulation :) Security truck pulled up and the security guard asked me if I was flying a drone. I told him that yes, I was flying a drone. He said that they picked up my drone and that I could not fly over the stadium. I told him I was not flying over the stadium, nor do I plan to, and that I was a FAA Part 107 certified remote pilot. He instantly backed off and said that I was OK as long as I wasn't flying directly over the stadium and left as I gave him the thumbs up. I fly a lot around Denver as I enjoy aerial photography, but this was the first time ever that anyone questioned my flying. I have taken lots of captures on this stadium over the years, however never directly over it as I typically frame my shots with the downtown skyline in the backdrop nor do I wish to push the envelope. All that being said, had I been flying directly over a 100% empty NFL stadium at 5:40am, with no TFRs in place and 2200+ hours before the next event, would I be breaking any FAA regulations? Based on my understanding, the answer is, no I would not be. What are your thoughts? BTW, the sunrise wasn't a good one.

View attachment 175216
Good morning! Nice photo. Here in Las Vegas I fly over Allegiant Stadium all the time. I do not fly directly over it since it's slightly higher than the allowed height I can fly up to. I've never had any issues here even though its very close to McCarran Airport too. No TFR's, and I get LAANC approval all the time. Also, if you can photo or video record something in a public place, that is not against any law etc.
To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
132,186
Messages
1,570,647
Members
160,941
Latest member
j.bosco