By Shawn Wood, communications specialist, University of Utah Communications
The clear bag policy took effect July 1, 2018, and has been met with success over the past year. Clear bag and no bag lines were tested over the past year, which sped entry rates up at all sporting events. At the 2017 gymnastics meets with over 15,000 ticket holders attending, long lines were a thing of the past. And early adopters need to be thanked.
The clear bag policy was phased in at all University of Utah athletic events at Rice-Eccles Stadium and the Huntsman Center over the last year. The goal was to speed up security checkpoints and increase the safety of fans. The policy was not enforced during the past 12 months but will be in the future.
- Diaper bags will be searched and allowed, but the child must be present.
- Bags must be no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches.
- A one-gallon, plastic freezer bag can be used.
- Small clutches or purses for privacy are still allowed.
- Seat cushions without pockets or compartments are allowed.
The policy change came on the heels of several security breaches involving venues for large events around the globe in 2016 and 2017.
“This proactive measure has enhanced security inside and outside of the athletic venues and sped up the security screening process for all fans,” said University of Utah’s Chief of Police Dale Brophy. “With clear bags, security staff has been able to check bags more quickly for prohibited items, which meant shorter lines, fewer hassles, more time in the venue for fans to enjoy their favorite sport and have a greater sense of security.”
Clear bag policies have been growing trend among many colleges and national sports venues. The NFL made the switch in 2013. Institutions in the Southeastern Conference, along with the U’s fellow Pac-12 member, Arizona State University, have also been early adopters.
Stadium and security staff want all fans to enjoy the games and do not want to send away due to non-compliance. Those without the proper bags WILL be asked to return them to their cars when able. Secure bag checks or lockers will be available for the first few games to accommodate those that ride public transportation. Educators will also be in parking and tailgating lots reminding attendees and handing out zip lock bags to use.
Those with a clear bag, a small clutch, a blanket with no contents and seat cushions without pockets, will be able to, in essence, skip the lines and will be enjoying the venues without the wait.
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