In an effort to make NFL Stadiums safer this year, the NFL has issued new rules and regulations on the type of bags and personal items that can be brought into the stadium. Safety is great; the inconvenience these new rules may cause fans is not. The NFL bag policy, women will especially not be fans of this.
So what exactly is allowed?
- Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.” (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags will be available through club merchandise outlets or at the NFL Shop (of course))
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
- Blankets are permitted to be brought in over the shoulder (Packers fans)
For women, purses at NFL stadiums are a thing of the past. Women are allowed to carry the following:
- Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bags.
- An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
Women will certainly appreciate debating with stadium personnel as to what a clutch is or is not. Just last night at MetLife Stadium, our own Brett Goldberg and his beautiful fiancé Nicole attended the Giants preseason game. Nicole was turned down at the gate and was forced to go back to the car because her clutch bag was too large (see below):
For those that wish to bring bags into stadiums this season, you can expect lines similar to the Georgia Dome bag check line in Atlanta. So what if you wait in a long line only to realize your bag is not acceptable? Well in San Francisco the folks at Candlestick Park held bags for pick up after the game. That went as you’d expect it might. Yet this is better alternative than stashing your bag in bushes near the stadium entrance.
The Baltimore Ravens however reported a fairly seamless transition to the new policies. The Ravens also focused heavily on making fans aware of the new policies through emails, press releases, and even press conferences. This didn’t mean the fans were necessarily happy, but the process went smooth enough. Some teams, including the Eagles, Chiefs, Colts, and Bears sent season ticket holders acceptable bags with team logos.
The NFL is using to preseason to not only educate fans on the new rules in place but to iron out the wrinkles of the system as well. At most stadiums there will be stadium personnel stationed in the parking lots that will send fans back well before they reach the gates if they see bags that will not be permitted at the gates. For those fans that use shuttles to get to the gate from far away lots will still be turned away at gates, or be charged a fee to check their bags once the regular seasons starts. You can access the NFL’s FAQ on the new bag policy here.
What the NFL FAQ list does not include is that stadium personnel will also be checking to make sure that your cell phone is turned on. So, if your phone dies during your four hours of tailgating they most likely will not let you in the stadium with it, which isn’t exactly what an intoxicated fan wants to hear.
The NFL issued this rule change to not only make NFL Stadiums safer, but to also make entry into NFL stadiums easier. In time the NFL Bag Policy will be an afterthought, but as of now it will continue cause problems at the majority of the leagues 32 venues.
Have a story involving the new NFL Bag Policy? Share the in comments section below!