The NFL's new security rules throw fans for a loss

The league now has a very specific list of items it will and won't allow into stadiums, and that has led to chaos at some venues.

By Bruce Kennedy Aug 16, 2013 2:45PM

Redskins fans are patted-down by security before a game at FedExField on September 18, 2011, in Landover, Md. (© Patrick Smith/Getty Images)Getting into a National Football League game has become similar to going through airport screening, now that new security regulations have been put into place.

The league's new policy was approved unanimously by the NFL's security committee right after April's Boston Marathon bomb attacks and went into effect with the preseason games. But many fans are already balking at the changes.

A detailed information page on the NFL's website outlines the new policy, and it begins by strongly encouraging fans to not bring any type of bags to the games. It also breaks down exactly what is and isn't allowed in stadium plazas and gate areas -- as well as on line while waiting to get into the stadium.

Included on the "allowed" list are:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and not exceeding 12 inches x 6 inches x 12 inches.

  • One-gallon-size clear plastic freezer bags.

  • 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 bag options.

  • Binoculars, cameras and smartphones.

Some items on the NFL's new banned list are:

  • Purses larger than a clutch bag

  • Coolers

  • Briefcases

  • Backpacks

  • Fanny packs

  • Cinch bags

  • Seat cushions

  • Luggage of any kind

  • Computer bags

  • Camera bags

  • Any bag "larger than the permissible size"

The NFL says exceptions will be made for medically necessary items, after they've been properly inspected at a specifically designated gate.

NFL officials say their priority is safety, while making it easier and faster for fans to get into and out of the stadiums.

But the changes have meant more aggravation for fans at some recent preseason games. Videos have been posted online of chaos at Candlestick Park as fans there tried to reclaim bags after a recent 49ers-Broncos game, or of very long lines to check bags at a Bengals-Falcons game in Atlanta.

"If NFL wants to bring more female fans to the games, banning purses and making bags be clear is the WRONG way to go about it!" one fan said in a Twitter post quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I had season tickets for over 36 years and they continue to complicate things over and over again," a Cleveland Browns fan told NBC News last week, on his way into the game.

Of course, the NFL has an answer, for a small fee. It's selling clear tote bags, backpacks and "high-end messenger bags" with team logos -- for between $9.95 and $19.95.

More on moneyNOW

Aug 16, 2013 4:05PM

HA! Good Luck with that.


I'll be at home, with my seat cushion, backpack and camera bag.


The terrorists continue to win the war against rational thought.

Aug 19, 2013 8:27AM
This is going to create issues during the winter games up north,  No seat cushion when it is -10 degrees outside and you are sitting on an aluminum seat?  How are you supposed to bring in your blankets?  Buffalo, Green Bay, Cleveland, PIttsburg and many others get freaking cold!
Aug 17, 2013 1:04AM

they are just making harder for the fans to get inside

if they keep this up they will lose the sport football.

Aug 17, 2013 8:13PM

With stadiums installing wi-fi hot spots throughout, tt seems fans only care about taking in their wireless devices.  They just can't enjoy a game without their stupid social media.  Twits will tweet.

Aug 19, 2013 4:22PM
Just ban pressure cookers and be done with it. This is an irrational overreaction. I think the players are more dangerous than any terrorist threat.
Aug 19, 2013 4:07PM
Why does anyone need to bring a bag into a game? Take your ID, cash and car keys and put them in your pocket. anything else you should be able live without for 3.5 hours. If you can't, then stay home and give your ticket to someone who will watch the game instead of playing on their i-phone.
Aug 19, 2013 9:18AM
If you or any others here got blown up by some idiot hiding a bomb in a backpack maybe you would think a little different about not alowing that stuff into a game.
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