AT&T Stadium officials to fans as NFL bag ban begins: 'Leave it at home'

Print
Email
|

by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on August 23, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 23 at 10:59 PM

It will be a test for those who come to see the Cowboys, but like to  pack for all the "what ifs."

The NFL is instituting a ban on bags, and it debuts in Arlington Saturday night.

"We're not really changing what people can bring to the stadium, we're only changing what they can put it in," explained Paul Turner, the director of events and security at AT&T Stadium.

"The big message is leave it at home," he said.

Purses, diaper bags, fanny packs, camera bags, and many more things are now no longer allowed inside the stadium. The rules and regulations are uniform across all NFL facilities.

Women will be allowed to carry in a small, clutch-like purse that's about the size of her hand. Fans can also use a gallon-sized Ziploc-type bag to bring personal items inside, or a clear plastic tote bag, as long as it's no bigger than 12-inches tall, 12-inches wide, and six-inches thick.

"By being able to reduce the items you're bringing, we can get you through the gates faster, and by bringing them in containers we can inspect, we can do a much more consistent job inspecting those items," Turner said.

The NFL began considering a policy change like this before April's deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon, but that is the kind of attack they are trying to prevent.

"We want to make sure people aren't bringing something toward the stadium that we can't see what it is," Turner said.

But some women, including mother of three Angie Delgadillo, are wondering how they'd pack everything they need.

"Most of the time you need things -- extra clothes, things like that," she said, of going anywhere with her children.

For Monica Cortez-Garland, the main issue is privacy.

"I don't know that I want everybody knowing exactly what's in my purse," she said. "We have different items that I don't necessarily want everyone to know about."

Privacy may be one problem, but availability is another. The Cowboys Pro Shop inside the stadium is sold out of the approved clear bags.

"We presently don't have anything for sale here at the stadium," Turner said.

He expects to get a shipment in by September. They are $9.95 and up at various websites, but many are on back order there, too.

"But you can find similar bags elsewhere, just look for something made of clear vinyl, PVC, or plastic, and isn't bigger than 12-by-12-by-6," he said.

Anyone who must carry special medical equipment with them that does not fit in an approved clear bag will be sent to a special entrance for screening.

Saturday night, the Cowboys will add 40 staff members to parking lots and pedestrian walkways to help educate fans. They plan to have large signs explaining the new policy, and they plan to tell anyone carrying a non-compliant bag, backpack, or purse that they need to take it back to their car.

Staff members will hand out clear baggies to people who need them.

Turner said this is not meant to cause a headache. It's meant to get a crowd inside faster, and keep that crowd safe.

"Think about what you need to bring as a necessity, not just something you bring as a habit," he said.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|