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NFL bag policy for 2013

Posted by Dave On June - 20 - 2013

Jaguar fans with clear bags

Our frustration and disdain for the NFL and their ridiculous policies has been well documented on this tailgating blog for years. A policy change coming from the NFL regarding the size and opacity of bags fans can carry inside NFL stadiums is the most recent display of idiocy and invasion of privacy to date.

NFL.com: NFL’s new bag policy to improve public safety at games
Sportsrageous.com: Female fans enraged at NFL’s bag policy

The NFL in it’s infinite genius has decided to implement a ban on all purses, diaper bags and backpacks and also limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums. Citing the recent Boston Marathon bombings as a major catalyst to bringing this new policy to be, bags now must meet certain size requirements and bags on the high end of the approved size requirement must be clear plastic. Here are the parameters:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.”
  • 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 bags.
  • An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.

Here are examples of what types of bags and what sizes are now approved and allowed in past security check points.

Anyone else catch that the larger bags that must be clear, the NFL is trotting out their version of the bag that will conveniently have the NFL Shield on it? Of course, your favorite NFL franchise’s logo will also be available for purchase. And all for less than $12. Way to create a market for a brand new officially licensed NFL product.

New NFL clear bags approved for entry for the 2013 NFL season

Aside from the blatantly obvious attempt to sell more licensed crap probably made in China, this new policy completely disregards and dismisses the growing and formidable female fan base. Veteran NFL fans can tell you, the majority of the people that bring in bags to an NFL game are women. And the majority of those bags are purses that contain God knows what. The point here is many of those purses contain private items that do not need to be displayed to the world. Most notably, tampons and and other feminine hygiene products. Honestly, it really is nobody’s business that it is your time of the month but the NFL is now making it everyone’s business within 100 feet.

Way to go NFL. Nothing like embarrassing your female fans and invading their privacy just because the game falls on that special week for her. And here is another potential problem that NFL may have overlooked. This bag ban by the NFL may very well increase the number of car burglaries in the parking lots.

With this new policy, the NFL is encouraging female fans to leave their purses at home.

Seriously? You think women will leave their purses at home? They very well may not take them into the stadium because of this new policy but they certainly will not leave their purses at home. They will just leave them in the car and hopefully lock it up in the trunk or hide it under the seat to decrease that crime of opportunity when an unscrupulous person walks by and sees a purse sitting on the floorboard in plain sight. But we all know after tailgating for a few hours and in the rush to make it inside before kick-off, some women will forget to hide their purse and thus they are welcoming a smash and grab robbery through a car window. So in order to solve one problem of “fan security”, the NFL just created another one, car burglaries.

Now that the NFL has changed the rules of bringing in outside items into the stadium, it is time for you the tailgater to adapt. Maybe you would bring in some alcohol in a backpack that had a compartment that security would overlook. It was last year that the NFL implemented the metal detector wands policy and moved away from a physical pat down by rented security personnel usually wearing yellow windbreakers. Because of this, this may be the perfect time to start bringing in those items on your person and not in exterior bags.

For the ladies and if it happens to be that time of the month and you don’t want to advertise to everyone, wear long pants and stuff some tampons in your socks while you go through security. If you want to smuggle your booze into the stadium, we have been touting for years the Freedom Flask and the Booze Belly as inexpensive and effective ways to get liquor into the stadium to avoid paying the high concession stand prices inside.

It’s doubtful that NFL fans and season ticket holders will revolt over this new bag policy and the refuse to go to the games in person. It’s doubtful the stadiums will be half empty and that games will be blacked out in local markets at a record rate. NFL fans will grin and bear it it seems and just go along with the policy. But just because this new policy is going into effect for 2013 doesn’t mean you can not take your own precautions. Now is the time to plan on how you will get items into the stadium that otherwise don’t need to be seen in an officially NFL licensed clear bag of approved size dimensions.

New NFL entrance policy will affect tailgating

Posted by Dave On August - 19 - 2012
49er fan security pat down

Image Credit: Associated Press

Tailgaters and football fans that have attended an NFL pre-season game this season may have noticed a change in the way they enter the stadium. The NFL rolled out a new security policy going into effect at all stadiums this year. Gone are the airport style “pat downs” and replaced with hand-held metal detectors scanning fans’ bodies.

Many of the NFL stadiums that have already hosted a pre-season game have placed signs outside of entrance gates informing fans of the new security measures. These signs also instruct those ticket holders to remove anything in their pockets like car keys and cell phones that contain metal and could possibly slow down the process by giving a “false positive”. The new metal detectors have been introduced to cut down on the time fans take to get through security lines. Because the metal detectors eliminate the need for male/female screening lines, there is no physical contact between security people and the ticket holder, predictably speeding up the process.

It’s an improvement in theory and on paper seems like it could speed up the process. But how will it hold up in practice? That remains to be seem.

After attending both of the San Diego Chargers preseason games and being subjected to these new security techniques, I have observed this:

  • The security line did not seem to move any faster this year than in years past because fans are not used to this policy yet. Fans were too busy doing others things and did not read the signs alerting them to remove phones and keys from their pockets. When it was their turn to get the hand wand, the device would beep when they waived it over the person’s front pockets and then they would ask them to remove their keys or their phone. Then the process of waiving the wand would start over. Essentially the process took twice as long had the person followed the directions and removed their metal items the first time.
  • The need to have two different lines of security for the two different genders was helpful in that I did not see security lines virtually empty because the ratio of male to female fans was disproportionate. I didn’t see open lines of female security guards just standing around and waiting for a female fan to come through while the male security line resembled the line to buy toilet paper in the former Soviet Union.
  • The new hand-held metal detector wands detect metal and assuming potentially dangerous weapons. They do not alert the security guard of someone smuggling in non-metallic contraband such as liquor. This new procedure could be good news for tailgaters that would try to smuggle in alcohol only to have it get discovered during the pat downs of the past. Now if you are so inclined, as long as you can hide your alcohol in a container that does not have any metal and conceal it well enough, you can carry in your own hooch without detection.

For a new security policy designed to get fans through the gates faster and more efficiently, some of the NFL franchises may not share the same same optimism as the NFL league offices hold. The Oakland Raiders, in an email forwarded to me by a season ticket holder, are suggesting fans enter O.co Coliseum two hours early to allow “ample time for this new security procedure.” Of course this may be a ploy to discourage those fans from tailgating which in turn results in fans spending less money inside the stadium on food, beverages and merchandise. By encouraging fans to enter the stadium two hours prior to kick off, the Raiders may also be encouraging fans to reduce the crush of fans jamming the gates minutes before kick off, thus eliminating that bottle necking “rush hour” effect.

So how does this new security policy directly affect you, the NFL tailgater? Honestly it could cut back on your tailgating time if the new metal detector wands slow down the flow of fans entering the stadium. You may need to start packing up your tailgating gear a little bit earlier than in seasons past just to make it to your seat in time for kick off.

Until fans start getting used to the new procedures, wait times to go through security could actually increase. We would suggest that security personnel be stationed outside gates with either a bullhorn or some other type of announcement device verbally alerting fans to this new security policy. As mentioned before, fans may not read the signs and therefore slow down the process because they have to remove items that are not dangerous yet make the metal detectors beep. That would be my suggestion but then again, when has the NFL ever called me for my opinion on anything?

 

Seriously AEG? You’ve GOT to be kidding me

Posted by Dave On June - 13 - 2012
Farmers Field

Can you see anywhere you would like to tailgate in this artist rendering of Farmers Field?

When you envision tailgating prior to an NFL football game on Sundays, what comes to mind?

Most people, including ourselves, picture groups of fans grilling their own food, maybe playing a game of cornhole, partying behind their cars and possibly enjoying an adult beverage or two that they brought in their own cooler. Apparently Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) in Los Angeles has a different vision than you, me and pretty much everyone else that understands NFL tailgating.

Just as some background information for you, AEG is a sporting and music entertainment presenter that most notably operates the Staples Center, home of the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings and the NBA’s LA Lakers and Clippers. Despite the fact that an NFL franchise has not called Los Angeles home for nearly 20 years, AEG has pursued a campaign to build Farmer’s Field on a proposed site near the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center. They are doing this in an attempt to lure an existing NFL franchise to move to LA or convince the NFL to offer LA an expansion team. (It should be noted that rival Los Angeles Stadium is attempting to do the same thing.)

Even though there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for either stadium to land an NFL franchise, both entities have continued to plan for the day when an NFL team does come to Los Angeles. And because tailgating is such an integral part of the NFL Sunday experience, both proposed stadiums have announced plans as to what they plan to do to accommodate those who love to tailgate. And just wait until you hear what AEG has planned for tailgaters if Farmers Field is awarded an NFL franchise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Infographic: The NFL Name Game

Posted by Dave On September - 10 - 2011

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Weekend Wrap-Up #127: Jamie Edmondson Edition

Posted by Dave On July - 30 - 2011

The NFL Lockout is officially over. The players union ratified the owners proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement that will be in place for the next 10 years. Once that happened the floodgates opened and NFL teams were able to sign their draft picks, release players and sign free agents and other players who were released. And oh yeah, NFL training camps opened up immediately for the teams to get ready for their first set of pre-season games. A lot has been going on in the past week and because we are laser focused on all things NFL and the tailgating that goes with it, we could not pass on an opportunity to share with you a previously unreleased photo of Playboy Playmate Jamie Edmondson modeling some NFL apparel. Links follow the photo:

Jamie Edmondson Chicago Bears

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TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.

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