To provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry into Soldier Field, the Bears joined the NFL in announcing a new policy that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into the stadium.
The NFL Committee on Stadium Security in May unanimously recommended the implementation of this measure that will enhance public safety and make it easier for fans to gain access in all stadiums. It was discussed with all clubs at the May league meeting and will be implemented at all NFL stadiums beginning with preseason games.
The Bears strongly encourage fans to not bring any type of bags, but outlined what is permissible. Fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag, package, or container at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium:
-- Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12." (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags will soon be available through club merchandise outlets or at nflshop.com).
-- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
-- Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the stadium along with one of the clear bag options.
An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
Prohibited items include but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, seat cushions, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
In recent years the Bears have enhanced their already comprehensive safety plans with the additional measures such as pat downs, bag checks and metal detectors. The Bears will work with stadium management and city officials to determine the specific plans for Bears game days at Soldier Field. These plans will be announced once they are finalized.
For additional information, go to www.NFL.com/allclear.
Fans will continue to be able to enjoy their tailgate activities in the parking lots and to do so with greater safety and the knowledge that their entry into the stadium will be smoother and faster.
"Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment," said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer. "Public safety is our top priority. This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective. We will be able to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment. We appreciate our fans' cooperation."
This public safety measure is being successfully used at other large venues. The University of Michigan, Penn State University and Michigan State University do not permit any bags, while the TD Garden in Boston only permits clutch bags.
Working personnel, including media, will continue to enter NFL stadiums through designated gates where they will be subject to screening and bag inspections already in effect at all stadiums.