CINCINNATI - A new NFL policy will affect many Bengals fans attending this weekend's preseason opener at Paul Brown Stadium — particularly female fans.
The NFL adopted a new policy for the 2013 season that limits the types and sizes of bags permitted in stadiums across the country, including women's purses, that goes into effect this weekend.
“Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment,” said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer in a release issued Monday. “Public safety is our top priority. This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective. We will be able to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment. We appreciate our fans’ cooperation.”
Ahead of this Saturday's preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans, the Cincinnati Bengals outlined Monday what is permissible for fans to bring inside Paul Brown Stadium. Those items include:
- 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.
Items that will not be allowed inside the stadium include purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
NFL officials say the policy is designed to ensure public safety and expedite fan entry into stadiums, but some Bengals fans view the policy as more of a nuisance.
"I think they're kind of over-reacting a little bit," said Bengals fan Janine Sumrall.
"I don't like it. I use a small backpack purse and I take it with me when I got to the stadium. And I'm not happy about that," she added.
Fan Stefanie Reid told 9 On Your Side she makes an entire day of a Bengals game and also packs items for her family.
"If you're going to enjoy everything that downtown Cincinnati has to offer, you want to be able to come for the long term. And you really don't want everything on display in your purse," said Reid.
Bengals officials say staff will be located at the entrance to team controlled parking lots and along street corners near PBS to alert fans of the new changes and to distribute complimentary clear bags during the two preseason games and first regular season game.
For more information on the NFL's new policy visit http://www.nfl.com/qs/allclear/index.jsp.
9 On Your Side reporter Lanny Brannock contributed to this report.