Story by Harry Rowe | Staff Writer, Video by Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter
Sporting events will have a different look this fall, as Baylor Athletics announced its newly implemented “clear bag policy” on Aug. 3. All sporting events will be enforcing this policy, making it a must for fans of any sport.
Although this policy is new to Baylor, the clear bag rule is common across the country. Major conferences and professional sports teams around the nation have already switched to this method –– Texas A&M began enforcing its policy as early as 2016. Departments have decided to switch to clear bags in an effort to provide a safer game day experience for fans and players. He said although this policy is new to Baylor, the clear bag rule has become common across the country.
“Sometimes we take [safety] a little bit for granted,” said Henry Howard, associate athletic director for capital projects and championships. “This is an extra layer that will allow us to ensure that it’s a safe venue and we can create great memories instead of worrying about wrongdoers. “
Plastic, vinyl and PVC bags are allowed as long as they are clear. Fans can also carry their items in a clear, one gallon resealable freezer bag. There will be exceptions for any bags or equipment needed by attendees for medical purposes, and such bags will be inspected upon entry.
Small clutches or purses about the size of one’s hand (measuring no longer than 4.5×6.5 inches) are also allowed.
Howard said in addition to making game day a safer experience, the new policy also looks to increase the efficiency and and timeliness of getting fans to their seats.
“If you have a clear bag, it’s actually easier for the security folks to search it a bit quicker to identify if there are issues immediately, so I’m hoping it helps fans get into the game quicker,” Howard said.
Howard said if fans are in a rush for time, they could purchase clear bags at the Baylor Bookstore or at the stadium itself.
“We’ve been considering a clear bag policy for some time and felt like it was necessary to implement it this year,” said Drew Pittman, associate athletic director for event management and facilities. “Our policy is very similar to policies now in place at most professional sporting events as well most other Big 12 programs.”
Baylor Athletics realizes that improvement is a steady progression, and that everyone can always be looking to improve the safety of their community.
“In partnership with the Department of Public Safety, we implemented the use of metal detection technologies two seasons ago.” Pittman said. “[We] believe that our new bag policy will continue to strengthen our comprehensive safety and security program.”
In a world that seems to be requiring more and more safety measures these days, Baylor hopes this improvement to athletic events will make the game day experience for Baylor students and families the safest it can be.