The National Football League cares deeply about the safety and security of the fans who attend their games, and following the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, the league responded swiftly.
Shortly after the tragic events in Boston, the NFL instituted a new policy regarding bringing bags into the stadiums for games. The league will allow transparent plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12 inches by six inches by 12 inches or clear plastic one-gallon re-sealable storage bags. Small clutch purses no larger than 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches will also be permitted.
Purses larger than a clutch bag, backpacks, binocular or camera cases, briefcases, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, luggage of any kind and seat cushions will not be permitted in NFL stadiums.
“In an effort to make the game day experience safer and better for all of our fans, we developed a policy that will help our security teams throughout the league screen fans as they come in much faster and more efficiently,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.
“Our security at the league office, working in conjunction with clubs around the league, decided to move in this direction, and we think it’s a reasonable measure that fans are becoming accustomed to and understand the rationale and appreciate why we’re doing it.”
In addition to safety, having the clear bags will allow for quicker entry, and thus, give more fans a chance to get to their seats in time for kickoff.
“What we’re finding is that fans are assessing what they bring to the stadium for the three-and-a-half hours of the game,” McCarthy said. “Fans are finding that they don’t need to bring as much stuff into the stadium.
“Those fans that may need to carry in more items, if it’s a family, they understand that all members of the family can bring in the approved bags, and realize that you can carry in a lot of materials if necessary.”
According to McCarthy, the NFL’s bag policy has garnered support from across many levels of sports and entertainment.
“What we’re noticing is that universities are following the NFL’s lead,” McCarthy said. “Concert venues are following the NFL’s lead, and we appreciate fans understanding the need to do this, and it reflects the realities of life today.”