BYU is enforcing a new clear bag policy for LaVell Edwards Stadium for the 2018 season. The policy went into effect for the season opener against University of California, Berkeley, making the institution one of two universities in the area with this protocol.
Acceptable bags under this change must not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches and must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC, according to byutickets.com. One of these bags can be accompanied by a small clutch bag with or without a strap that is no larger than 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches, approximately the size of a hand. Clear, one-gallon, re-sealable bags are also acceptable.
Prohibited bags include backpacks, cinch bags, diaper bags, fanny packs, purses and tote bags. Medically necessary items are allowed after undergoing a search at a designated gate.
Utah State University allows bags smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches into Maverik Stadium. They are subject to search upon entry and must be stored under seats. Hard-sided bags, suitcases, coolers and other similar containers are unacceptable. Other policies are listed on the Maverik Stadium Gameday Guide.
“We have looked into the clear bag policy but haven’t moved to it yet,” said Spencer Funk, event operations coordinator at Utah State University. “With us being an open carry state for guns, we allow some bags but nothing bigger than a normal purse size.”
Other than BYU, the University of Utah is the only university in the area with a clear bag policy.
The University of Utah adopted this policy for both Rice-Eccles Stadium and the Huntsman Center and enforced it for the first time at their home opener against Weber State on Aug. 30. Their policy follows the same guidelines as BYU with several differences. Clutch purses must be 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches or smaller, and diaper bags are allowed with a search and the infant present.
“All went well and no major issues or complaints,” said Steve Pyne, director of events and facility management at the University of Utah, when asked about how the transition went at their first home game this season. “We sent the message all last year that in 2018 it was coming. That really helped I think in implementing this year.”
BYU Army ROTC cadets partner with BYU police in keeping the public safe at every home football game as part of a fundraiser for their program. Cadet Aaron Hansen, gate security officer in charge this year, said there were very few people unable or unwilling to accommodate the new rule and that it wasn’t a burden to those who were aware.
“(The change was) much different than years previous,” Hansen added. “It made the process much more streamlined for the fans. Passing through our security checkpoints was much more fluid.”
BYU fan Chandler Woodward attended the football game on Sept. 8 and echoed this idea. “There wasn’t a huge difference in line time. We got into the stadium pretty quick.”
Hansen said the few fans who were caught by surprise were instructed to return their bags and other prohibited belongings to their cars. Pyne shared what the University of Utah does to help with this issue.
“The more everyone shares the message the better it will be on the front line people,” Pyne said. “We also contracted a third party company to check bags at a $10 fee to store bags if people were dropped off or had no way to return their bag to a car or location.”