By Jacob Miller
This football season, Kinnick Stadium officials will only allow clear bags to be taken into football games.
The purpose of the policy is to allow for a safer and speedier process when entering the stadium, said Senior Associate Athletics Director Paula Jantz.
Backpacks and purses will not be allowed.
“We feel it is a step in the right direction in speeding access into the stadium, so it is not necessary for us to have people particularly open their bags when we can see what is inside,” said Capt. Loren Noska of University of Iowa police.
These changes were first made last season in the final home game, against Purdue. The new bag policy is modeled from NFL policies.
According to the Iowa football Gameday website, only clear bags that are 12 by 6 by 12 inches or smaller will be allowed into the stadium. Some will sport the Hawkeye logo.
Although the new policy at Kinnick recommends not bringing any bags at all to the stadium, fans do have some options. The only exception is if the bags are needed for medical purposes. They can either bring a gallon-sized plastic bag, small, 4.5 by 6.5 inches clutch bags, or purchase clear bags and purses.
Backpack or purses that are not clear will need to be dropped off at the Recreation Building.
The clear-bag policy was created by the NFL in June 2013, the first professional sports organization to require all its stadiums to follow the regulations.
At this point, no other professional sports organizations have followed the NFL’s lead.
The majority of NCAA schools will use the new bag regulations for the first time this season.
According to NFL.com, some schools, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Penn State, have taken another step and have banned all types of bags.
One company that produces clear bags is Little Earth Productions, whose CEO noted the importance of security in stadiums.
“It is not so much about popularity but more about safety,” Rob Brandegee, CEO of Little Earth, said in a press release. “It is why we put it into place in the first place.”
Little Earth has licenses for Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, NHL, and more than 60 NCAA schools. This includes all Big Ten schools except for Northwestern and Rutgers.
In 2013, Little Earth was approached by the NFL to manufacture clear bags. The organization is one of the primary clear bag and purse providers for the NFL, and it now creates clear bags and purses for NCAA schools, including Iowa.
“Fans are very passionate about college sports, and these new bags allow them to get through game-day security quickly, but they’re also trendy at the same time,” Brandegee said in the release.