Skip to main content

Operation Foul Ball: Feds used Target Field for secret anti-drone program, NYT says

  • Author:
  • Updated:

"Operation Foul Ball."

It sounds like something from a Hollywood action thriller, but it was in fact the name of a secret security program at last year's MLB All-Star Game in Minneapolis.

The New York Times revealed the Department of Homeland Security experts used last year's baseball showcase at Target Field as a test case for a radar system to detect drones flying above the 40,000-seat stadium.

Security experts see privately operated drones as a growing threat to public safety, but the newspaper said that in spite of the use of the expensive, advanced detection system, they actually had no way of stopping drones from flying into the stadium on that day.

It also struggled to identify who was operating the machines, and given the expense of the program, baseball officials decided against using the technology in post-season games.

More than 120,000 people filled Target Field over the three days of events that ran during the All-Star break last July.

According to MPR, the Federal Aviation Administration started including "quadcopter" drones in its flight restrictions at sporting events where the capacity is more than 30,000.

This stops aircraft from flying lower than 3,000 feet within 3 miles of stadiums from an hour before a game to an hour after, but MPR notes many drone operators ignore the rules, and some are not even aware such a rule exists.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.


Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.


It was the driest September in Twin Cities modern history

Less than a quarter inch of rain fell in September.

Jay James Olson

Sauk Rapids man pleads guilty to making, selling ghost guns

The 21-year-old would sell unserialized guns, silencers, auto-sears, and high-capacity magazines.

Pixabay - gray squirrel

Squirrel blamed for Friday power outage impacting over 5,000 homes

There's no telling when or where the squirrels will strike next.