DENVER — Some pro football fans are mad over a new NFL policy that restricts the type and size of bags that are allowed into stadiums nationwide this season.
For instance, your purse cannot be bigger than the size of a hand. The only type of bag allowed is one-gallon sized, clear, plastic bags.
The NFL says it’s all about safety, and helping security lines move faster when fans are arriving at the games.
Upset female fans say they need their purses.
“It just doesn’t get much dumber than this,” says Broncos fan Laura Chapin.
Dumb, senseless, crazy… those are some of the words female Broncos fans are using to describe the NFL’s ban on purses in stadiums. “It is very obvious that there were no women in the room when the NFL voted on this and made this decision,” Chapin says.
The new ban includes purses, fanny packs, backpacks, diaper bags… everything except a small clutch with a strap, or a clear, plastic NFL-sanctioned tote bag.
“We carry things in our purses that are really not suitable for public view and I don`t know about you but I don’t want everybody in the stadium seeing,” Chapin says about the clear bags idea.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High general manager Andy Gorchov says the clutch purse provides that privacy. He says the new policy will increase safety and get fans through security faster.
“The top priority is safety, there’s no greater priority than the safety of the fans and the safety of the stadium,” Gorchov says. That’s not going to sit well with many of the 40 percent of NFL fans who are women.
“There are ways to ensure security without embarrassing women and treating women football fans as criminals,” Chapin says.
She plans to fight back and hopes to overturn the new policy. Gorchov and the NFL have other hopes. “We recognize that it’s going to be an inconvenience initially but what we’re hoping is that people become accustomed to it,” he says.
“As a football fan and as a pretty regular football fan, this kind of thing frankly makes me not want to go to a game,” Chapin says.
There will be checkpoints to let women know they have to take their purse back to their car when fans arrive at the stadium for the Broncos preseason game against St. Louis Saturday.
There will also be free plastic bags available if they’re needed. Nevertheless, stadium officials expect a certain amount of chaos and protests.