Posted June 14, 2013

NFL announces controversial new stadium bag policy

NFL
Fans will be limited in the items and containers they can bring into 2013 NFL games. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Spectators will be limited in the items and containers brought into 2013 NFL games. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

The NFL is instituting a new policy that prohibits spectators from bringing purses and similar bags into the league’s stadiums.

The policy is designed to enhance safety and minimize the time spent inspecting items at the gate following a recommendation of the Stadium Security and Fan Conduct Committee.

According to a league release:

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,” the statement reads.

Beginning with the 2013 preseason, the new rules will also include:

  • Bags must be clear and made of plastic, vinyl, or PVC, with dimensions not exceeding 12 inches by six inches by 12 inches.
  • Fans are limited to one bag per person.
  • Spectators may not bring in backpacks, fanny packs, seat cushions or coolers.
  • Small “clutch” bags will be allowed.
  • Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after they’ve been inspected at a gate designated for this purpose.

“Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment,” said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer. “Public safety is our top priority. This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective. We will be able to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment. We appreciate our fans’ cooperation.”

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Media members quickly questioned and criticized the new restrictions via Twitter, including the difficulties of women and children to attend future games:


69 comments
bowser
bowser

Only a 8 teams in the league are not above 90% attendance every week, and only 1 (Miami) below 80%. The NFL is banking on their fantastic attendance numbers to allow them to do anything they wany, without any significant financial repercussions. 

DonaldHall1
DonaldHall1

Anyone who pays2 to 3 thousand dollars for a psl and then 80 or 90 dollars for  a seat, and then can,t bring a seat cushion to sit on is an idiot.I love football as much as the next guy but i,m not obsessed by it like some fans.I,ll just sit back and enjoy my beer,chips,dip,hot dogs,etc. in the comfort of my rec. room in front of my 60 inch hi-def t.v.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

My elderly Uncle has Patriots season tickets and recently finished treatment for prostate cancer.  Are you seriously telling me he can't bring a seat cushion to the game?

shellyshell
shellyshell

I think they should prohibit giant foam finger-pointy thing. That is wicked dangerous...imagine sticking that thing in someone's eye. 

shellyshell
shellyshell

Interesting that the NFL is making a decision that will distance themselves from female fans. I thought the whole point in pushing the breast cancer awareness agenda (you know, pink socks, pink ball caps, etc.) was to tap in to the female demographic. It looks like they will regress a bit from this move. By the way, since when does prohibiting seat cushions enhance stadium safety? I have seen that most unsafe events that occur in a sports setting are usually the result of alcohol. Too much money in that, though.

NYGBlue
NYGBlue

These guys are clueless. They are making it harder to resist the comfort of home or hanging out with friends at a local sports bar.

No bags, no camera bags, no seat cushions, ...good luck to families or anyone wanted to bring some comfort like a jacket or two for e cold weather. So load up on your clothing layers, and fill your packets with game necessities. That will work until Roger (I can ruin this game) Goodell makes the next rule limiting clothing. Hope he waits until after the Super Bowl in NY, that could get a little chilly.

The NFL needs to stop for a minute and remember they are in business to entertain the fans. Come up with a better solution rather than importing the inconveniences pioneered by industries like the airlines. The airlines make us unpack and undress to board a flight while the NFL wants us to wear everything you want to bring...same result they've both replaced customer service with unfriendly rules and more and more would rather stay away..

sugaslim
sugaslim

unreal...another silly rule by the nfl....no seat cushions wtf??? doesnt effect me though here in vancouver the closest thing we have to the nfl is the bc lions and the seahawks...go lions

JimBowski
JimBowski

Safety my azz; its all about concessions and the almighty dollar!!!

DeeEllEll
DeeEllEll

Improve safety?  Maybe.  Shorten time through gates?  Good idea.  However, this step is too drastic.  Seat cushions and other items to get to and from the game are a necessity.  The ticket prices are already too much.  Bad move NFL.

NugLutts
NugLutts

This policy and other hassles is why its easier, more relaxing, and vastly less expensive financially and mentally to watch games from the comfort at home, friends, or a bar.  

Plus with HD technology and surround sound as it is today, actually almost as exciting as being at a game.

Won't miss the parking hassles and stress of driving either.



gbgentleman
gbgentleman

Considering that the Packer fans still sit on COLD metal bleachers, banning seat cushions is not going to go over very well.

muser
muser

The NFL will be an afterthought playing in half empty stadiums within 10 years...

Frotoon
Frotoon

The biggest problem I see with this is the impact on people who walk, bicycle, or take public transportation to the game. They won't have a car to lock things into. A 12" x 12" x 6" bag is more than enough to bring what you need into the stadium, but what about the rest of your day before and after the game?

Mkmck
Mkmck

What's funny is that the NFL has been trying to figure out how to get more fans to the games rather than sit home and watch on TV. This policy makes it that much more likely that people will just stay home. I'll stick with my 60" HD, surround sound, with cheap beer, cheap food, clean bathrooms, (and no lines for a any of them), no traffic jams coming or going to the game, and I don't have to worry about stuffing anything I want to bring to the game in my pockets. Congrats NFL...you just figured out how to get more people to decide it's just not worth the hassle to go to the stadium.

bandit411
bandit411

“Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment,” said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer. “Public safety is our top priority.

Mr. Miller, if the goal is to provide NFL fans with a safe and secure environment, then you have to prohibit alcohol consumption in the stadium parking areas and eliminate the sale of alcohol inside the venue.

Public safety may be a League priority, but it certainly isn't the top priority.  We all know the League has a

$ingle focus$

gooniegoogoo4
gooniegoogoo4

WHy can't you bring a seat cushion???? That's ridiculous.......especially since they were items purchased in the team store.

Bill10
Bill10

I find it incredible that an organization that pays players and coaches in the millions of dollars is too cheap to set up entrance security searches (if that's what must be) that allow attendees to carry normal everyday stuff.  It's stupid, it's lazy and it makes the billionaires of the NFL look like penny-pinching old ladies.

Petzuk
Petzuk

Typo.... Should be....

None of these comments would have been posted.

Petzuk
Petzuk

None of these comments would not have been posted if this was September 12, 2001.

How quick everyone forgets the new world that we live in.

gdub311945
gdub311945

When does the TSA get hired for the pre-flight, ah, pre-game body scans? It seems that the NFL fancies themselves as the largest airplane in the world. Seating for 80,000 plus, but no seat cushions for those bench seats. I am sure that it would take an interstate highway without bridges or signs to get that beauty off the ground. Remember that there is no coolers or purses that can be brought on board, and if you make some kind of statement about that, then your stadium flight might be restricted to foreign venues. All meals while on this flight are to be purchased on-board the stadium aircraft. Good luck  in scheduling a flight. Do you like hot dogs and beer? No peanuts due to allergy restrictions!

ThomasCox
ThomasCox

Be careful...Goodell might read these comments and try to make you pay $10 bucks for a slice of pizza that you already had delivered to your house while you watch the game at home. 

Michael10
Michael10

All this to make sure no one sneaks a Snickers bar into the $90 "cheap" seats rather than buy $11 nachos and $5 waters? No thanks--I'll stick to MLB where the gouging is limited to one eye...

brighat
brighat

The NFL thinks their fans are suspicious terrorists. This is a surefire example of not being fan-friendly. Why is the NFL being so anal? It's bad enough that I had to go through ridiculous screening the 2nd time I went to Detroit with my brother to see the 49ers play the Lions. Where am I to put my passport now if I go again someday? Do they think I'm Ursula Martinez?

Are they going to enforce this in London and Toronto as well?

The NFL is becoming just like Microsoft. Arrogant and uncaring simply because there are leagues ahead of everybody else. I guess I won't be making another sojourn to Detroit if they are going to place these stringent rules on me and others. Next thing you know, they will only let you in if you're buck naked.

Anaximenes1
Anaximenes1

another terrible decision by the power / money hungry nfl---you can't even bring a fanny pack or a purse to hold diapers for children?? are you serious???  new policy--disaster--I hope they lose big money

Fifilo
Fifilo

And people want to attend NFL games... why?

GoBlue1964
GoBlue1964

Well, I don't need to attend anymore games, getting to difficult to have a good time. What about outside prepared food and water? Interesting, I guess I can sit in my TV room and watch the game on HD along with the Red Zone

John4
John4

Truthfully, NFL games at the stadium suck.  Too much rap music (actually, ANY rap is too much) obnoxious fans, drunks, etc etc.  Much better with friends at the house.  Big TV, beer in bottles, (not watered down) food, clean bathrooms, and if the game sucks, which it might, watch the game on the other channel.  All this new policy is doing is making it even less likely that people will want to go to the games.  The NFL is absolutely better on the TV at home.  

magiccitygal
magiccitygal

@NYGBlue airlines are not in charge of security--the airports (owned/operated by local governments) are. 

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

@JimBowski You got that right! This isn't about safety, it is about making sure that fans have to way overpay for concessions. I stay home and watch on the TV or the internet. It is cheaper to drive 100 miles and go to a sports bar.

Frotoon
Frotoon

It's the high ticket prices that actually give you a chance to go to a game. If the prices were lower, stadiums would always be filled and you'd never get to go. Supply & demand

sjaudey
sjaudey

@NugLutts Not to mention that they give me 8 hotdogs for 5 dollars at home and 1 for 6.50 at a stadium

Frotoon
Frotoon

I have a feeling that Packers games will continue to be at 100% capacity no matter what policy is installed.

Frotoon
Frotoon

If someone ever brings in an explosive device, then attendance will plummet league-wide. So you see, they're not trying to drive people off. They're averting a larger potential problem.

Dbrncs
Dbrncs

@bandit411  

 Amen, they just want your money, all of it, now! I was really hoping to bring my four year old to a Bronco game this year, guess we will just have to watch them all at home together. 

Frotoon
Frotoon

Get an inflatable one.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

@Petzuk 

Bin Laden said he wanted to take away our freedoms.  You are following his wishes happy to watch our freedoms being taken away.

Frotoon
Frotoon

Stabbings and brawls in Candlestick contributed a lot to this.

eddiej
eddiej

I thought you knew,NFL wants women and children's money but not their attendance at games.If the owners would hire a couple more screeners the lines would be faster.Also what constitutes a medically needed bag and who at the stadium can say it isn't needed

gooniegoogoo4
gooniegoogoo4

@John4 Absolutely disagree. As a season ticket holder of 2 NFL teams, and a subscriber to NFL Direct TIcket....the live experience will ALWAYS trump sitting on my couch.

GoBlue1964
GoBlue1964

@John4 Yes, I agree, so, so many fights and alcohol abuse. The animal comes out in both men and women 

Dbrncs
Dbrncs

@Frotoon  

Not all games sell out, the demand is not meeting the supply because the price is too high in some places. 

Marcus
Marcus

@sjaudey @Mkmck  Doubtful. If it would be more profitable than the TV and cable network contracts the NFL would have already done it. Would also decrease viewership and thus fans, and thus clothing and trinket sales, athlete endorsement contracts would decrease (NFL Players Assn would have a cow), and on and on.

TippiGordon
TippiGordon

@Frotoon Why do you think someone with bad intentions would wait until he got through a security gate to blow something up?

mahaloluinoa
mahaloluinoa

@JamesMartens @gdub311945 The Marathon bombers didn't have to buy a ticket; they walked up, dropped off the bombs in the crowd, and sauntered away.

Comparing the two scenarios is asinine.


JonathanDeitch
JonathanDeitch

@Frotoon They should install seats that lock people into place like a theme park ride. You gotta raise your hand to be released to use the bathroom. You will be escorted at all times. 'MERICA IZ SKERITY MEXIMISED