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Fly your drone at Super Bowl 2022 and get a $30,000 fine, FAA says

If you pilot a drone within 34.5 miles of SoFi Stadium, the government could fine you, file criminal charges, and destroy or confiscate your drone.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
Super Bowl No Drone Zone

The FAA has banned drone flights within 34.5 miles of SoFi Stadium during the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.

FAA; Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

The Federal Aviation Administration has declared SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, a No Drone Zone during this year's Super Bowl. That means you'll face a fine of up to $30,000 and criminal prosecution, not to mention confiscation of your drone, if you fly it during the championship football game, the FAA said in an alert Wednesday.

The temporary flight restriction lasts from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PT on Feb. 13 and covers a huge part of the airspace around the stadium: anywhere within 34.5 miles (30 nautical miles) and up to an altitude of 18,000 feet. For an area closer to the stadium -- within about a mile and up to 3,000 feet -- the No Drone Zone goes into effect at 10 a.m. PT, the FAA said.

Oh, and the government might obliterate your drone, too, according to the FAA's flight advisory, if it's "deemed to pose a credible safety or security threat to protected personnel, facilities or assets." It's all part of a detailed FAA safety plan that goes into effect during the Super Bowl.

Drones are increasingly capable for capturing aerial videos and photos, but it can be hard for pilots to figure out who's allowed to fly them and when. The B4UFLY app can help you find out if it's legal to fly at a particular spot, while the Aloft app can help you request permission for areas that require it through a system called Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC).