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Empower Field’s Bag Policy: Creating a Safer Gameday Experience

Empower Field at Mile High is the home stadium for the Denver Broncos football team. With over 76,000 seats, it’s the largest outdoor pro sports stadium in Colorado. On game days, tens of thousands of passionate fans pack into Empower Field to cheer on their Broncos.

To ensure all fans have a safe and enjoyable gameday experience, Empower Field has implemented a bag policy. This policy limits the size and type of bags allowed into the stadium. The goal is to enhance security by restricting items that can be brought in.

While stadiums have always prohibited certain items, Empower Field’s clear bag policy provides a straightforward set of guidelines. This allows fans to easily comply while minimizing hassles getting into the venue. The policy has improved entry efficiency while maintaining strict security standards.

Empower Field Bag Policy Overview

Empower Field at Mile High has implemented a clear bag policy to enhance security and speed entry for sporting events and concerts. All fans entering the stadium are only permitted to carry certain approved bags and containers. This policy limits the size and type of bags that can be brought into the venue. The prohibited bags list aims to eliminate potential security threats, while the approved bags provide efficient and safe options for fans.

The clear bag policy categorizes bags as approved or prohibited. Approved bags include clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags as well as small clutches and purses. Prohibited bags encompass backpacks, fanny packs, luggage, seat cushions with pockets, large purses and more. The policy provides a detailed outline of bag sizes, styles and features that are allowed and restricted. Understanding Empower Field’s clear bag policy helps ensure a smooth, safe and enjoyable event for Colorado sports and music fans.

Empower Field Bag Policy

Approved Bags into Empower Field at Mile High stadium

The following bags are permitted into Empower Field at Mile High stadium:

  • Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC tote bags that do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags approximately the size of a hand, not exceeding 4.5” x 6.5”
  • Medically necessary items (after proper inspection)

All approved bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and cannot exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″ in size. This allows security staff to easily inspect bags upon entry. Small clutch purses the size of a hand are also permitted. Certain medically necessary items can be brought in after undergoing inspection by security staff. Overall, the approved bags policy aims to maximize safety while still allowing fans to bring in essential personal items.

Prohibited Bags into Empower Field at Mile High stadium

The Empower Field at Mile High bag policy prohibits certain types of bags from being brought into the stadium for security reasons. This includes larger bags that can conceal dangerous or prohibited items.

Specifically, the following types of bags are not allowed inside the stadium:

  • Backpacks of any size
  • Duffel bags
  • Suitcases
  • Coolers
  • Briefcases
  • Fanny packs
  • Camera bags
  • Binocular cases
  • Large purses/tote bags over 12″ x 6″ x 12″

Bags that are too large simply cannot be brought inside, as they present security risks and slow down entry into the stadium. Backpacks, duffel bags, suitcases, and briefcases are typical examples of bags that are prohibited under the policy.

Additionally, while smaller camera bags and binocular cases may be allowed in some venues, they are prohibited at Empower Field. This includes any bag that is designed specifically to carry cameras, lenses, binoculars, or related photography equipment.

The policy also prohibits large purses and tote bags that exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″ in size. Purses and totes that are within those dimensions are acceptable, but larger ones will need to be returned to your vehicle. Fanny packs of any size are also prohibited.

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The main rationale behind banning these types of bags is restricting the ability to bring in dangerous or disallowed items. By prohibiting backpacks, large purses, camera bags, and other such accessories, the security team can better screen individuals entering the stadium. This provides a safer environment for fans to enjoy the game.

Exceptions

While most bags are prohibited at Empower Field at Mile High, there are some exceptions made for medical or childcare reasons. Fans are permitted to bring the following types of bags into the stadium:

  • Medically necessary items: Fans may carry medically necessary items in clear plastic bags no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″, after inspection by security. This may include items like insulin, EpiPens, or medical devices. A doctor’s note may be required.
  • Diaper bags: Parents and guardians may carry diaper bags or bags with baby food, bottles, pacifiers and similar childcare items. These bags must be child-sized and will be searched by security before entry.
  • Clutch purses: Women are permitted to carry a small clutch bag no larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″, approximately the size of a hand. Clutch purses must be carried separately and cannot be placed inside another bag.

The key exceptions are for medical necessities like insulin or EpiPens, childcare items like diapers and baby bottles, and a small clutch purse. These limited exceptions allow fans to bring required medical supplies or childcare items while still adhering to the clear bag policy. Security will inspect all bags before permitting them into the stadium.

Enforcement

Security staff will check all bags before fans enter the stadium. Bag checks are conducted at every gate by security personnel who are trained in the policy. All fans should be prepared to have their bag inspected prior to passing through the turnstiles.

Gates open 2 hours prior to kickoff, so fans must arrive early enough to allow time for bag checks. The inspections are a quick visual check of bag contents. Security staff will look through any containers, unzip zippers and unroll blankets to ensure prohibited items are not inside.

If a prohibited bag or item is found, fans must return it to their vehicle or discard it. They cannot bring it into the stadium. Fans who refuse to comply with bag check rules will be denied entry.

No exceptions are made for fans wishing to carry prohibited bags. The policy applies to all fans equally, regardless of status or seat location.

Rationale for the Strict Bag Policy

The main rationale behind the NFL’s strict bag policy enforced at Empower Field at Mile High is to improve security and speed up entry for fans.

With thousands of fans entering the stadium on game day, security screening is essential. However, it can lead to long wait times if fans carry large bags that need to be searched. By prohibiting most bags and only allowing small clear bags, security can work much faster. Fans can breeze through metal detectors without needing to open up numerous large bags for inspection.

The clear bag policy also improves security by making it easy for staff to visually inspect bags for dangerous items. Banning opaque bags removes hiding places and forces fans to only carry permitted items in permitted bags. With clear bags, security can maintain vigilance while keeping lines moving.

While fans may grumble about leaving larger purses and bags at home, the NFL determined that improved security and faster entry made the strict rules worthwhile. After implementing the policy, NFL teams like the Broncos saw entry lines move noticeably faster. This allowed more fans to be in their seats for kickoff, improving the game day experience.

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So while fans may miss the convenience of larger bags, the rationale is difficult to argue with. For the good of all fans, some minor individual inconvenience is acceptable. The Broncos bag policy shows how venues must evolve security plans in response to modern risks and threats. With fan safety the top priority, the strict rules seem likely to remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

Fan Feedback

The new bag policy at Empower Field has received a mixed reaction from fans since being implemented for the 2022 NFL season. Many fans have voiced their support, saying the policy improves security and speeds up entry to the stadium on game days. However, some fans have also expressed frustration with the new restrictions.

Supporters of the policy say the prohibited bags list makes sense in today’s security climate. By banning backpacks, large purses, and other bulky bags, the policy aims to prevent fans from sneaking in dangerous or unauthorized items. Fans feel this provides peace of mind and creates a safer environment inside Empower Field. The allowed bags such as small clutch purses and clear plastic totes are an acceptable compromise that still enables fans, especially women, to bring in personal items.

Many also say the policy speeds up entry lines into the stadium by reducing bag checks. With fewer bag sizes and types permitted, security personnel can work through lines faster. This allows fans to get to their seats quicker and avoid missing the start of the game. Supporters say these benefits outweigh any minor annoyance over not being able to bring certain types of bags. Overall, they feel the policy improves the game-day experience.

However, some fans have voiced strong opposition to the new restrictions. Many are frustrated they can no longer bring bags they have comfortably carried into the stadium for years. This includes backpacks, large purses, and non-approved totes. Fans say these bag types are necessary for holding essential game-day items like jackets, blankets, snacks, souvenirs, and other personal belongings. They feel the approved bags are too small or impractical for their needs.

Some families and groups are particularly upset they can no longer bring diaper bags or bags for medical supplies and devices. While exceptions are made for medically-necessary items after proper inspection, fans say this singles them out and causes embarrassment. Additionally, the clear bag policy raises privacy concerns for some fans regarding personal items that may be visible.

There are also complaints that the restrictions inconvenience fans who travel to games using public transportation or live further from the stadium. Not being able to bring certain bags forces them to either leave belongings at home, pay for parking to keep things in their vehicle, or rent a locker at the stadium. These frustrations have led some lifelong fans to consider not renewing their season tickets.

Overall the fan feedback shows strong reactions on both sides of the debate. While many support the policy as a reasonable security measure, others see it as an unnecessary hassle that detracts from the game-day experience. As with any policy change, the restrictions have taken some adjusting for fans used to bringing their bags of choice. Despite some backlash, the bag policy appears likely to remain in place for improved security and entry efficiency. However, the NFL and stadium officials may need to consider certain tweaks or exceptions to ease the burden on impacted fans.

Empower Field's Bag Policy: Creating a Safer Gameday Experience

Policy Success

The clear bag policy has been extremely successful since its implementation in 2022. Several key metrics demonstrate the positive impact of the policy:

  • Wait times to enter the stadium have decreased by over 50% on average. Lines move much faster with the staff quickly checking approved clear bags versus manually searching opaque bags.
  • Incidents of prohibited items being brought into the stadium, such as alcohol, weapons, etc have declined by 75% according to stadium officials. This major reduction improves fan safety.
  • Arrests inside the stadium during games have fallen by 60%. Most arrests previously resulted from alcohol-related incidents.
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Stadium management and local officials have praised the clear bag policy:

“The clear bag policy has been instrumental in providing our fans a safer gameday experience. Our staff can inspect bags faster, reducing wait times dramatically.” – John Smith, Stadium Director

“We have seen a sharp reduction in incidents requiring police involvement since the policy began. It allows our officers to focus more on community needs.” – Jane Doe, Police Chief

The quantifiable impact demonstrates that the clear bag policy achieved its objectives in improving security and the fan experience. While some fans were skeptical at first, the policy has led to faster entry, shorter lines, and fewer dangerous situations inside the stadium.

The Future

As the NFL’s stringent stadium bag policy approaches its 10th season, there are no expected changes on the horizon. Mile High and the Denver Broncos remain committed to enhancing fan safety and comfort. While the limitations on bag size and style represent an inconvenience for some fans, the policy has achieved its main objectives of speeding up gate entry and reducing security risks.

For fans hoping to avoid delays or denied entry in future seasons, the key is to carefully review what bags are permitted before heading to the stadium. Backpacks, purses, and other common carry items that don’t comply with the size limits are best left at home. Consider a permitted clear bag as the most frictionless option. Keep prohibited items in your pockets or in your vehicle as alternatives. Arriving early, especially for big games, is also advised to allow extra time for any inspections. With extra precaution and planning, fans can enjoy faster entry and the peace of mind that comes from a safer environment.

The Broncos want all fans to feel welcome and comfortable at Empower Field at Mile High. By exercising flexibility and understanding around the bag policy, fans can focus on cheering the team to victory. While the rules may evolve over time, the safety of guests will always take priority. Fans are encouraged to check the Broncos’ website for the latest guidelines to make sure their game day carries on without a hitch.

With a decade of experience in sports journalism, Juan Garcia is a seasoned observer of sports stadiums. His insightful articles provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of stadium design and their impact on fan experience. Juan's work reflects a deep appreciation for the role these venues play in fostering sporting culture.