GS Athletics implements clear bag policy at all ticketed athletic events

Blakeley Bartee

Georgia Southern Athletics will enforce a clear bag policy at all ticketed athletic events to improve event safety, according to a press release from GS Athletics.

To enter Paulson Stadium for the Sept. 9 home game against the New Hampshire Wildcats, Eagle fans will need to bring approved bags or leave their bags at home.

The policy went into effect on Aug. 1. Here is the list of approved bags, as published by GS Athletics:

  • One clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag that does not exceed 12″x6″x12″
  • OR a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag
  • IMPORTANT: A logo no larger than 4.5″x3.4″ can be displayed on one side of a permissible clear bag.
  • Clear bags can not be patterned nor tinted in color.
  • One small clutch/purse no larger than 4.5″x6.5″
  • One seat cushion or folding bench seat
  • Seats/cushions may not exceed 16″ in width and can not have pockets.
  • An equipment bag for necessary medical items (after proper inspection at the gate)
  • A diaper bag when accompanied by a baby or small child (after proper inspection at the gate)

The policy allows one large bag and one small purse per person.

Refillable mugs and popcorn pails bought from stadium concessions can still be brought in, but they have to be empty, GS Athletics stated on their website.

Large purses, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs and bags with tint or print will be prohibited under the policy, and they cannot be placed inside approved bags to go through the gates.

All people entering athletic facilities are subject to a search outside the gates, and security personnel have the right to check bags, blankets, coats, pockets, purses and similar items, according to GS Athletics.

The search prevents outside food and beverages, alcohol and other prohibited items from passing through the gate, and security will ask fans to either take prohibited items back to their cars or dispose of them properly.

The GS Athletics Department chose to implement the policy after conducting its annual review of security policies with the GS Police Department, claiming the policy will allow for a safer environment and expedite entry into athletic facilities, according to the press release.

“This is the next step in secure game management practices,” Tom Kleinlein, athletic director, said to GS Athletics. “It’s also an example of our university and athletics department wanting to do as much as we possibly can to ensure the safety and enjoyment for all that visit our campus.”

The policy is consistent with the NFL’s clear bag policy, as well as other universities, including Auburn University, the University of Alabama and Georgia Tech.

Kleinlein said to GS Athletics, “We know change is sometimes difficult, but we will educate our fans and our visitors to make this new practice as seamless as possible. In the end, this will enhance the game day experience by speeding up the gate entry process experience for fans and providing a safer environment to watch Eagle Athletics.”