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We’re now entering our second year of the NFL’s “new” bag policy, and after the expected initial hue and cry over the rule change, fans seem to have settled into the new normal.
For those not initiated, the policy bans anything other than 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, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bag options.
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.
Now, Major League Baseball is also testing a tighter security entrance at the end of this season, setting up airport-like checkpoints at the entry. That will be the norm for all clubs in 2015.
College football stadiums also are beginning to follow the NFL model banning bags and oversized purses and backpacks of any kind and making sure everyone has a ticket. And frankly, in this age of incidents at sports venues, very few people complain about the changes.
How does this impact your own event or venue? When you’re dealing with youth sports in particular, you can’t be too careful. But there’s a fine line between security and annoyance. The good news is, most everyone who attends some game, knows the drill and is familiar with purse checks, etc. It’s not like you have to reinvent the wheel.
As the NASC CSEE module this week drills down on security issues and crisis planning, it’s a good reminder to look at your own plans. Talk with your staff, with local security and others to get a sense on how to handle a crisis and how to plan to minimize the chance something can go wrong.
You can’t be too prepared for something you hope will never happen.