Canton, Ohio - The NFL's new policy banning bags that are not clear and that are much larger than a gallon ziploc bag seems to have worked well Sunday at the Hall of Fame game.
There were no lines at the secondary perimeter checkpoints as security members ensured fans did not enter Fawcett Stadium with banned items such as backpacks, diaper bags, coolers, briefcases, fanny packs, seat cushions, computer bags and camera bags.
The only bags that can be taken into game venues are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that don't exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, including one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags.
In general, fans approved of the new procedures and said they were aware of the new rules. But a few women were upset they could not bring their purses into the stadium.
"I had to hide my purse under a concrete barrier (outside the gates)," said Brooke Cantu, a Cowboys fan from McAllen, Texas. "I took the contents and put them in a plastic bag, but had to leave the purse. At least it's not an expensive purse."
Cantu, who wasn't aware of the new policy, said other women also argued they should be allowed to bring in their purses.
Those incidents were minimal and there were virtually no delays for people to enter Fawcett Stadium, which has a capacity of only 22,364, about one-third the size of most NFL venues. How the policy will work at the larger stadiums is uncertain; a full slate of exhibition games begins Thursday night.
NFL teams sent reminders of the new policy with season ticket renewals and also used the media to spread the word. Signs will be in stadium parking lots in the preseason and regular season, and the NFL hopes each team will be able to hand out fliers about the limitations.
The Steelers posted on their official team website Monday that “Heinz Field encourages fans to not bring in any type of bags. However, 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 steelers.com, at all Steelers Sideline Stores and at nflshop.com), or
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
- Logo on bag cannot exceed 4.5" tall by 3.4" wide.
- Small clutch purses, approximately the size of a hand, or 4.5" x 6.5" with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the stadium along with one of the clear bag options.
- An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at each gate.
- Diapers and wipes can be carried in a clear bag, however diaper bags are not permitted.
- Each member of a family, including children, will be able to carry an approved clear bag and a clutch purse.
This policy will be in effect for all University of Pittsburgh football games as well as all concerts at Heinz Field. This policy does not pertain to media or working staff at Heinz Field, though security screening will still take place at all points of entry for such guests.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.