To provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry into stadiums, NFL teams have implemented an NFL policy that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums.
The NFL Committee on Stadium Security unanimously recommended the implementation of this measure that will enhance public safety and make it easier for fans to gain access to all stadiums. The recommendation was discussed with all 32 teams at a league meeting and have been implemented at all NFL stadiums.
The NFL strongly encourages fans to not bring any type of bags, but outlined today what is permissible. Fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag, package, or container at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium:
- 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 are available through club merchandise outlets or at nflshop.com),
- or One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
- Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap, maximum size 4.5" x 6.5", can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bag options.
- 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.
For more information, go to www.nfl.com/allclear.
Fans will continue to be able to enjoy their tailgate activities in the parking lots and to do so with greater safety and the knowledge that their entry into the stadium will be smoother and faster. They also will continue to be able to carry items allowed into the stadium, such as binoculars, cameras, and smart phones.
In recent years the NFL has enhanced its already comprehensive safety plans with the additional measures such as pat downs, bag checks and metal detectors.
"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."
This public safety measure is being successfully used at other large venues. The University of Michigan, Penn State University and Michigan State University do not permit any bags, while the TD Garden in Boston only permits clutch bags.
Working personnel, including media, will continue to enter NFL stadiums through designated gates where they will be subject to screening and bag inspections already in effect at all stadiums.
BE CLEAR ON GAMEDAY SAFETY
NFL BAG POLICY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why did the NFL and all teams adopt this policy?
The entire NFL reviews their public safety and stadium security policies every year looking for ways to improve them. The Committee on Stadium Security and Fan Conduct leads this review and obtains a wide range of information to assist in doing so. The committee strongly believed that it made sense to adjust our policy to enhance public safety and make stadium access more efficient by limiting the size and style of bags carried into the stadium. This was reviewed with the clubs at the May league meeting and will be implemented by every team.
This proactive measure both will enhance safety inside and outside the stadium and speed the security screening process for all NFL fans. The public deserves to be in a safe, secure environment. This is about both safety and improving the overall fan experience.
Are other events limiting bags?
Yes. In fact, some like the University of Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State University do not permit any bags. The pat downs and metal detector screenings of all individuals entering NFL stadiums provide an additional level of safety for fans. The limitations on bag size and style is a further enhancement for convenience and safety.
How does the new policy improve public safety?
There will be a secondary perimeter around the stadium where security personnel will check for prohibited items or bags being carried toward the stadium so those situations can be corrected immediately. This establishes a protected buffer area for fans in plaza-level areas and at the queues for stadium entry. Prohibited bags will be turned away. Any prohibited bag inside the second perimeter will be highly visible and more quickly resolved.
The clear bag is easily and quickly searched and greatly reduces faulty bag searches. It also supports the Department of Homeland Security's "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign.
How does this make it more convenient for fans?
This will enable us to move fans through our security check points much faster. It will make the stadium's job much easier, allowing staff to be more efficient and effective in checking bags that are brought into the stadium. There will be less time spent standing in lines at the stadium gates and fans will be able to be in their seats well before kickoff. Fans also will enjoy an improved sense of safety. Shorter lines mean fewer hassles.
How many bags can each person bring into the stadium?
One large clear bag – either a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or the 12" by 6" by 12" clear bag – plus a small clutch. The larger clear bag must be a standard 12" by 6" by 12" made of clear PVC vinyl and is easily searched. The one-gallon Ziploc bag is readily available, inexpensive and easily searched. The small clutch allows privacy for small personal items and also is easily searched.
Can fans carry cameras, binoculars, smart phones or tablets separately from what they put in a clear bag?
Yes. Binoculars or a phone or camera can be carried into the stadium so long as it is not in its own bag. This is not a restriction on items that fans have been able to bring into the stadium. It is only a restriction on the type of container used to carry items.
Are seat cushions allowed to be carried into the stadium?
No, they are not due to the large size and because the way seat cushions are constructed would allow them to be used to conceal a potential explosive device.
What about bringing blankets in cold weather?
Fans will be able to bring blankets by tossing them over a shoulder or arm. They can be easily screened carrying a blanket into the stadium.
Why haven't more stadiums and arenas adopted this kind of policy?
The NFL is the only professional sports league that has a comprehensive set of best practices for stadium security certified by the Department of Homeland Security as anti-terrorism technologies under the United States Safety Act. As such, other professional sports leagues look to the NFL as the leader in stadium and large venue security. Other stadiums have watched the NFL closely and followed, to the extent possible, security enhancements pioneered by the NFL. We anticipate that many more stadiums and arenas will soon adopt this policy.
What happens if I show up at the gate with a bag that is not permitted?
Fans carrying bags that do not meet the criteria will be turned away from the stadium well before they reach the gates. Raymond James Stadium parking attendants will maintain an ample supply of clear plastic tote bags or clear plastic freezer bags to afford guests the opportunity to transfer their belongings to an approved bag before they approach the stadium.
If I have certain medical items or medical equipment that I need to bring into the stadium what do I do?
If you have a medical need please contact the Tampa Sports Authority office in advance at 813-350-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make special medical needs arrangements. Patrons with medical needs should access the stadium through the disabled entrances at Gates A & C for general ticket holders and the East and West Club gates for club and suite ticket holders.
Are all purses prohibited?
No. Unlike some event venues, we are not banning all bags. Small clutch purses (4.5"x6.5"), with or without a handle or strap, are permitted along with either the 12" by 6" by 12" clear tote bag (or smaller) or the one-gallon freezer bag (or smaller). This should enable you to carry the same items you have in previous years and speed entry into the stadium for all fans because it will take less time to screen bags. Shorter lines means fewer hassles. We encourage fans not to bring any bags, but have created a policy that balances fan needs with improved public safety and convenience.
Do I have to put everything I'm carrying into the permissible bags?
No. We are limiting only the type of bags carried into the stadium, not items that you normally bring to a game. Therefore, you can carry in your pockets or jacket keys, makeup, feminine products, comb, phone, wallet, credit cards, etc., if you choose not to put them in a clear bag or clutch. And you can carry a blanket over your arms, and binoculars and/or camera around your neck or in your hands without the case. You can use the clear bag and clutch to carry other items. You will continue to have the flexibility to bring a wide variety of approved items into the stadium. Every member of your family may carry in a permissible bag.
What about diaper bags?
Diapers can be carried in a clear bag. Each member of a family, including children, would be allowed to carry an approved clear bag and a clutch purse into the stadium. That is a quite a bit of storage capacity.
Will this policy affect the ability of fans to tailgate? Are there limitations on tailgating items?
No. Fans will be able to enjoy tailgating activities in the parking lots and do so with greater safety and knowledge that entry into the stadium will be smoother and faster.