— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) May 21, 2017
No drones allowed.
That’s the rule MLB reiterated Tuesday, two days after a drone nearly took out a couple of fans during the San Diego Padres’ 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park on Sunday.
“Our security department became aware of [Sunday’s] incident and we have been in touch with the local authorities. We are continuing to monitor the situation,” a Major League Baseball spokesperson told Sports Illustrated on Monday, adding, “Drones are prohibited items at all of our ballparks.”
The drone in question appeared to be a GoPro Karma, thousands of which were recalled last year after a battery design issue was found to result in unexpected crashes. GoPro released its revised Karma drone earlier this year, however, it’s unclear which version crashed into the upper deck Sunday.
“Pretty sure the Russians have something to do with this,” one of the television commentators joked before the drone crashed into an empty seat between two adults in attendance.
The Padres, meanwhile, saw what happened as no laughing matter, especially in light of a recently passed San Diego city ordinance that allows local police to cite reckless drone operators. The legislation, according to the San Diego Tribune, came in response to several incidents that saw operators fly drones near city airports.
“Guest safety at Petco Park is a top priority for the Padres. Sunday’s drone incident was immediately addressed by Padres’ security and the San Diego Police Department to ensure the safety of our guests,” Padres Chief Operating Officer Erik Greupner said in a statement to Sports Illustrated. “This incident highlights the dangers posed by unauthorized drone use in proximity to large public venues like Petco Park. The Padres vocally supported the City of San Diego’s recently enacted ordinance that enables SDPD to enforce the FAA’s restrictions on operating drones near large public venues.
“We look forward to continuing to work with local authorities to ensure that this ordinance is enforced to the fullest extent possible.”
The drone operator remains at large.