Following the lead of other pro leagues and college stadiums, NFL has instituted a new policy requiring female fans to now carry a limited sized clear bag in place of their regular backpacks and purses. This move was in an effort to make stadiums more secure and to make security screenings into the stadiums more efficient.
Bfore you say this is picking on women, NFL banned coolers and backpacks in 2001, so this is just another step towards a safer stadium environment. And after the Boston bombings, the NFL can't afford to take chances.
All season ticket holders were notified prior to pre-season, and the story was picked up by most news affiliates around the country, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to regular fans, but just in case you are unclear as to what kind of bag you can or cannot carry, here are the Stadium Bag Policy paramaters:
I've heard some people say that this is a great way for the NFL to sell more stuff., but in fact, many teams are providing clear bags and bag-check facilities as fans transition, so you don't have to buy an official NFL bag. You could just carry your stuff in a clear one gallon freezer bag (who the hell thought THAT was a good suggestion?) OR you could get yourself more fashionable options, like these:
FYI: I found these bags at ClearHandbags.com.
Even with those cute options, many of my girlfriends are still crinkling their noses about having all their stuff showing. Biggest complaint: "What if I'm on my period? Everyone will see my tampons!" I'll admit, that's the first thing I thought of, too, but the likelihood of having a visit from Old Aunt Flo on the day you go to a game is pretty slim. Still, just in case you happen to have items you don't want the whole world to see, the NFL does allow you to carry a small privacy pouch (like a purselet) no more than 4.5 inches tall and 6.5 inches wide, along with or inside your fabulous clear handbag.
If you need anything bigger than that for medical equipment, they'll make an exception... after a careful screening, of course. If you have any other questions about this policy and what you can or cannot bring, check out the NFL Stadium Bag Policy page.
So take heart, ladies. The stadiums will be safer, the security lines will be faster, and you get to buy a cute new bag!