New Measures Ban Many Bags, Are Expected To Expedite Security Checks

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Jets and Giants fans will be subject to a new league security policy when they attend preseason games at MetLife Stadium this weekend.

In May the league and all NFL teams agreed on a policy that would restrict the type of bags that fans would be allowed to carry into stadiums.

The policy took effect earlier this month at the Hall of Fame inductions and game. Fans will only be allowed to carry bags, packages, and containers into stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or queue lines if they meet the following requirements:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.”, or
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand (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.

Larger bags, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage, seat cushions, computer bags, camera bags, or any bags larger than the permissible size are prohibited.

League officials said that the move was intended to create a safe environment and to deliver a quicker gate experience.

“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.”

Similar measures have been used at large venues in the past; The University of Michigan, Penn State University and Michigan State University all have policies that prohibit bags, according to a release from MetLife Stadium officials.

When the league unveiled the new policy Miller called it groundbreaking.

“It is groundbreaking in the sense of a professional sports league adopting a policy across the league,” Miller said. “I think what we will see moving forward is other sports leagues will follow the NFL’s lead. I know some are evaluating changes in their procedures.

Fans of the two teams seemed torn over whether or not the policy was worth it.

“I think it’s fine if it is for safety measures. I don’t mind doing it,” Stephanie Shih told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin before Saturday night’s Jets game.

On CBS New York’s Facebook Page commenter Kate Genovese called the plan “ridiculous”. Others viewed it as a necessary precaution.

“If people don’t like it stay home,” offered Tom Alicandri.

Fans who did not get the memo regarding the change in security policy were told to return to their cars with the prohibited containers or check them in at a special trailer.

Security personnel said that fans were cooperative and that the new policy did not result in any delays at stadium gates.

Fans can review the policy and find additional information at the NFL’s website.

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