Reporting John Ostapkovich
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By John Ostapkovich and Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eagles’ practice Monday was a dress rehearsal for new security measures now in place around the NFL.
At Lincoln Financial Field, fans seemed to be coping just fine.
The Birds had close to a full house and the first preseason game is this Friday, so it was a good time for Linc security to get strict with the new “Be Clear” policy. Basically, the rule says if you can’t fit it in a clear baggie, leave it in the car.
The VP of Event Operations Leonard Bonacci says they are doing a “reassessment of what you are bringing in the stadium. We want you to bring what you need. Your money, your keys, your ID. But some people need some additional items to bring in on game day, and we understand that. We would just ask that it’s put in that clear bag.”
That’s right. All you can bring is your enthusiasm and whatever you can fit inside a plastic bag.
“What do you need? A little money, a cell phone, some sunscreen,” mused one female fan today. “You carry a bunch of crap you don’t need, but for women this is a good thing, I think. It’s going to make us edit.”
Women’s purses can be no bigger than your hand, but guards were granting a little bit of leeway on that Monday.
“That’s going to be the dilemma,” said fan Joan Amos. “When women have ‘problems’ nobody wants to have it advertised.”
But Bonacci says that the security process is evaluated every year. This year, it took place around the time the Boston Marathon bombings occurred.
Eagles’ parking attendants were handing out cards with the new rules. Other staffers had gallon baggies for those in need.
Still, some people were surprised.
“I told them they could bring in clear waters, but they can’t,” noted one fan. “I was here last Sunday and I got in with a bottle, but I guess they nixed that, so I’m taking the water bottles back to the van.”
Although we did see others in similar straits guzzle the water, chuck the bottle, and then pass through screening.
Officials say the exception to the rule is bags containing medicine.
“We have a special screening gate for those items,” Bonacci explained.
And fans say that even though it is a bit of a hassle, they feel safer, and it will keep lines short at the gate.
The new rules are in effect for all NFL stadiums.
For more on the new policy, visit: www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000211996/article/nfls-new-bag-policy-to-improve-public-safety-at-games