CINCINNATI - Bengals fans don’t have to worry about bringing the wrong bag to the first home preseason game Saturday night.
The team isn’t going to turn away fans or make them ditch bags that don’t comply with the NFL’s new clear bag policy, a team official said Friday.
“For the first two preseason games, no. We realize it’s going to take some time to educate everyone. We’re not going to make people go back to their cars,” said Jeff Berding, Director of Sales and Public Affairs.
The Bengals are doing their best to help fans adapt to the new rules.
The team will distribute clear bags to fans before they get to the plaza level of Paul Brown Stadium Saturday night and for the next two home games.
Parking lot attendants will hand out bags as vehicles enter Bengals-controlled lots near the stadium, and a private security company will offer bags to people walking to the stadium at the following street corners:
• Pete Rose Way and Central Avenue
• Mehring Way and Central Avenue
• Mehring Way and Elm Street
• Elm Street and Freedom Way
• Elm Street and Second Street
Free bags will also be passed out before the Aug. 29 preseason game and the first regular season home game Sept. 16, Berding said.
Fans will also get a flier with information about the new bag policy, which also limits the size of purses allowed in the stadium.The new policy permits:
• 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 of any kind, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap.
• An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
Fans can still bring food and unopened bottles of water. “We just want them to bring it in a transparent bag,” Berding said.
Besides oversized bags, there are no other changes to the prohibited item list. That includes alcohol, noisemakers, strollers, umbrellas, video cameras and more.
See the complete list at http://www.bengals.com/stadium/prohibited-items.html
Security will still wand fans with magnetometers before they enter the stadium, but Berding said the clear bags should make the process quicker.
“We don’t want a large crowd waiting to get in. We think that’s an enhancement for fans,” he said.
Berding said he hasn’t heard many complaints about the new bag policy.
“Very little to none, really. I’m the one who sees the emails from the website and fields the calls from the switchboard and I haven’t gotten any calls about the bags,” Berding said.
The NFL plans to sell clear tote bags with team and NFL logos, but those are not available yet at the Bengals Pro Shop, Berding said.
Get more information on the NFL's new policy at http://www.nfl.com/qs/allclear/index.jsp.