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Saturday, June 15, 2013 - Page updated at 09:30 p.m.
Seahawks fans must leave most bags at home
By Anna Boiko-Weyrauch
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seahawks fans are coming to terms with new rules banning most bags, seat cushions and banners at games.
On Friday, CenturyLink Field emailed season-ticket holders information about the new rules, which were announced by the Seahawks and 31 other NFL teams Thursday to make security searches quicker and easier.
Fans are encouraged to leave all bags at home. If that doesn’t work for them, fans can bring one clear plastic bag (the Ziploc freezer variety, for example) or a clear tote sized 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, in addition to a purse small enough to fit in your hand — a so-called clutch.
Any other kind of large bag is forbidden, including larger purses, coolers, fanny packs, cinch bags, diaper bags, laptop bags and large camera bags. Season-ticket holders will receive an appropriately sized clear vinyl bag for free.
Seat cushions are also banned because they could conceal an explosive device, the NFL said. Signs and banners must be standard letter-sized or smaller, at 8.5 by 11 inches.
Fans can still bring in cameras, tablets, and smartphones, as long as they hand-carry them or fit them into a clear bag. Blankets and binoculars are OK if draped around your shoulder or neck.
The changes are effective Aug. 17 at the Seahawks’ first home exhibition game.
“This proactive measure both will enhance safety inside and outside the stadium and speed the security screening process for all NFL fans,” according to the NFL website detailing the changes, www.NFL.com/allclear.
The changes were part of a yearly review led by the NFL’s Committee on Stadium Security and Fan Conduct, according to the site.
At least one thing hasn’t changed:
“Face paint and Mohawks are encouraged,” Seahawks and Sounders spokeswoman Suzanne Lavender wrote in an email.
The allowable clear tote size is not much bigger than a child’s lunch box, season-ticket-holder Pam Raymond said. She’s been going to games every year for the past 28 years but said she doesn’t have a problem with the changes.
“We’ll adapt, and if the lines move a bit quickly, then that’s great too,” Raymond said.
Some fans find the rules excessive.
Bruce Bright is the president of Sea Hawkers South chapter of the Seahawks booster club, and has been a fan since 1977. He started carrying a plastic bag to games before the changes to speed up his trip through security. Bright said he has always felt safe at the stadium.
“I would just rather not have a bag check,” he said.
Some fans are wondering how the changes will jibe with Seattle’s cool and wet weather during football season.
“If I’m bringing layers, I’m going to have to wear them all,” first-time season-ticket holder Jeff Marsh said.
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