After the recent success of Drone Sports World at the Maker Faire CA, the company behind it, Aerial Sports League (ASL), is setting up again in San Francisco. But this time, there’s a difference. As a beta test of what will soon become a permanent, first-of-its-kind entertainment complex, ASL is opening up for the weekend in San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Innovation Hangar, offering an adult-only Saturday evening before a full family day on Sunday.
This could well be the start of a trendy late-night drone scene about to spread across the US. On Saturday night, there will be a “Drinks and Drones” cocktail party, where experienced pilots, newbies, and the drone-curious can go along, have a drink, don a pair of FPV goggles and get involved in the action. With all the flashing neon lights of an indoor race track, it makes sense to turn it into a party, right?
Later this summer, Drone Sports World will permanently open in Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Innovation Hangar. It’s a move that makes a lot of sense, particularly as ASL look to ride the same wave of drone popularity that led to ESPN buying the broadcasting rights of the International Drone Racing Association.
Speaking to Drone Girl aka Sally French for Market Watch, Aerial Sports League CEO Marque Cornblatt, said “We see this as the first in a series of franchise opportunities that we’re looking at opening around the country. “We’ll teach you how to build drones, teach you how to fly drones, get you registered with the FAA and make sure you know what you’re doing before you leave”.
This weekend the event will include a drone racetrack, a cage for aerial combat, and a shop where fans can buy learn about the equipment needed and even buy their own racing drone. Tickets are available through the Aerial Sports League website, here.
ASL’s Drone Sports at Risk
The party planned by Aerial Sports League could end up being short-lived if the California legislature has anything to do with it. ASL founder Marque Cornblatt recently explained in a blog on the company site that drone sports are at risk should the state pass laws that will ban the ‘weaponization’ of drones. While clearly well intentioned, Cornblatt argues that “these laws do not take into consideration the popularity and educational value of drone combat games.” As a result, “With the help of the EFF and others, ASL hopes to amend these bills to allow drone sports to continue legally.”
Cornblatt highlights the strict compliance procedures undertaken at every drone combat event hosted by ASL, and wants the legislature to amend the bills currently being worked on to allow for the growing drone combat sport to continue to thrive.
“The ASL combat arena features a net-enclosed safety cage, strict safety procedures and mandatory compliance with all local, state and FAA imposed restrictions. The ASL has hosted hundreds of pilots and exhibited combat competitions and training for over 250,000 live spectators in dozens of events. The drone combat community has a spotless safety record and proven to be a prime example of safe, friendly and educational use of drones for good.”
If you’d like to support ASL’s campaign to defend its popular Game of Drones combat competition, follow this link to find out more.