On June 14th, I received an e-mail from the Seahawks informing me that Roger Goodell and the NFL has made a change to the bag policy for fans attending games. The bags must now be clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and can not exceed 12″ x 6′” x 12″. A small “clutch” bag approximately the size of a hand may be allowed into the stadium along with your clear bag. This new policy will be in enacted for the first pre-season home game against the Broncos on August 17th. The Seahawks will be handing out for free the bag pictured below at the Broncos game and the home opener against the 49ers in Week #2. If you can’t make it to one of those games the ProShop is selling the bag for $9.95.
The two reasons offered for the change were for security/safety of the event and to speed the process of entering the stadium. I suspect the real reason for the new policy was in response to the Boston Marathon bombing. Last season the Seahawks hand checked every bag entering the stadium. The lines and wait time for the home opener against the Dallas Cowboys were atrocious. The staff got their act together the subsequent weeks and the process was much smoother. I believe that procedure was in place to act more as a deterrent than to actually intercept an explosive device.
The Boston bombing was a game changer. I typically would enter the stadium and go directly to my seat and drop off my bag. After that, I would march off to go find me a cold $8 micro-brew and not return to my seat until the singing of the National Anthem. What I just described is now a big security concern because of what happened in Beantown. I’d imagine security will be at ease when they can look into my clear plastic bag and see that it does not pose a threat to public.
This new policy could be problematic for games that are later in the season when fans like to bring blankets, coasts, gloves, and hats. I don’t think all of those items will fit inside the bag. It will be interesting to see if the NFL will change their rules come November.