Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Jets Fans Adapt on the Fly to New Stadium Security Rules

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Jets Fans Adapt on the Fly to New Stadium Security Rules

Article excerpt

Tens of thousands of Jets fans surrendered their purses and backpacks to a new reality on Saturday as just-implemented security rules forced many to put their wallets, lipsticks and deli sandwiches on display for all to see.

In place of long lines of fans waiting to have their bags searched at MetLife Stadium before Saturday's preseason game, there was a new perimeter of stadium staff alerting fans that many of their carry-alls could no longer be carried inside.

Few questioned the need for the security measure, a new National Football League policy adopted in May for all games as a response to the backpack-carried bombs that detonated at the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three people.

But many people -- especially the well-stocked tailgating crowd - - said the new bagless or clear-plastic-bag lifestyles would take some getting used to.

"Do you like my new purse?" Tamika Santiago of Clifton joked as she held up the clear free bag provided to her at the parking lot entrance. "It's Plastique Vuitton." Santiago said that, for future games, she would probably have to invest in a see-through bag that offers more amenities -- "like a zipper."

The new rules allow patrons of all MetLife events to carry in only small clutch purses or clear plastic, or vinyl bags with dimensions that do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Prohibited items also include coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, seat cushions, computer bags and camera bags.

Additional security was employed on Saturday to staff a two- layer entrance perimeter. Fans first arrived at tables that contained an orange-painted 4 1/2-by-6 1/2-inch rectangle that security personnel used to measure small purses and wallets.

Some carrying anything larger -- or anything opaque -- made the long walk back to their cars. Others, trading uncomfortable glances, put the most valuable of their items into a plastic bag and handed their sturdier containers over to one of the "bag exchange" trailers posted at every gate.

Brad Mayne, president and chief executive of the stadium, said that while some fans questioned the reasons for the new policy, there were no altercations with patrons who refused to comply. …

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