USA TODAY Sports
No, paper bags are not allowed.
Last season, the NFL started requiring the use of metal detectors. This year, the NFL will be implementing a new bag policy to ensure the safety of fans.
Allowed bags include a small clutch purses no larger than 4.5-by-6.5 inches and either a clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag no larger than 12-by-6-by-12 inches or one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags.
Medically necessary bags are an exception but must be inspected a specific gate. Diaper bags are prohibited unless they are transferred to an approved clear plastic bag.
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.
At the same time the NFL is attempting to enhance the fan experience at stadiums and get people to attend games more regularly, they are making an unfriendly bag policy—especially for fans with children.
If ticket prices weren’t enough of a deterrent to keep families home, they now have to make sure everything is in an NFL-approved bag. Is a clear plastic bag with no pockets enough to fit everything necessary to bring a small child to an NFL game, like a change (or two) of clothes, diapers, food, bottles (with ice packs) and entertainment?
The children are also allowed a bag, but that’s not much help. Talk about a nightmare, especially if the weather isn’t ideal.
Before the new bag policy, a dad could bring two young children, each carrying their own backpack. After the new bag policy, a dad with two young children will probably need carry two (or three) clear plastic tote bags costing $10-12 each.
Tight security also sends the message that NFL games are a potentially dangerous environment for children. The rules obviously don’t apply outside of the stadium in packed parking lots, so it’s really a false sense of security.
Seat cushions have also been banned, even though they are part of the stadium experience for some fans. Older fans or any fans in extreme weather areas who want to provide a buffer between their rear end and a frozen seat can’t be happy with the new policy.
Blankets are still allowed, so that would be the obvious alternative to seat cushion. However, I’d imagine fans would prefer to use the blanket they can carry into the stadium like a blanket—not a seat cushion.
This is a definitely a big change, so be prepared. Rant over.