NFL Banning Bags, Purses, Fanny Packs, Seat Cushions From Stadiums

For the last couple years, the NFL has been trying to get people into stadiums, especially in markets where seats are available but it’s easier and cheaper to sit at home and watch the game on a huge HDTV with surround sound (and no one spilling beer or throwing batteries at you). But the league’s latest move seems intent on keeping people away from stadiums and in the non-invasive comfort of their homes.

The NFL announced yesterday that all league stadiums will ban basically any sort of bag one might consider bringing to a game. This includes purses — though very small, clutch purses would be allowed — backpacks, shoulder bags, computer bags, camera bags, briefcases, coolers, and fanny packs. Oh — and seat cushions too. So your butt will be cold and sore because the NFL has decided, “the large size and because the way seat cushions are constructed would allow them to be used to conceal a potential explosive device.”

Insert your own explosive gas/seat cushion joke here.

Unfortunately, this is not a joke, and if you turn up with any of the banned bags, you’ll be turned away at the gate. Which is fine for people who have a vehicle in the parking lot, but for those who walk or take mass transit to a game, they’ll have to find some other place to stow their stuff.

The only bags definitely allowed NFL stadiums will be “a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or the 12” by 6” by 12” clear bag… The larger clear bag must be a standard 12” by 6” by 12” made of clear PVC vinyl and is easily searched. The one-gallon Ziploc bag is readily available, inexpensive and easily searched.”

The NFL says it was already pondering this notion before the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon, but that disaster was factored into this decision.

“We have come up with a way to do it that will actually make access more convenient for fans than it has been,” says the league. “We think the fans will embrace and appreciate it.”

Yes, but don’t embrace too tightly, as you might be passing banned materials while in contact.

You can read the NFL’s FAQ on its All Clear (yep, that’s what it’s called) program here.