CHARLOTTE, N. C. -- With just days before the Panthers' first preseason game versus the Chicago Bears, the Panthers Team Store is busy with customers. From key chains, to seat cushions, to polo shirts to miniature helmets, shoppers can find plenty on the racks.
But one item not there yet, and it's something many fans will need before watching a game at the stadium: the Official Panthers' see-through tote bag, which is set to arrive by the end of August. Fans will not be required to carry their belongings in that bag, but items must be in clear containers.
"I can see it would be a little bit inconvenient to find an extra clear bag to bring with you to the stadium, and it would take a lot of time if I showed up with this because I didn't know,” said Amy Shea, who is visiting Charlotte and wanted to do some shopping at the store. "I think that it will take a while to adjust to the new rules, but I understand it’s for safety reasons."
In June, NFL security voted to make the changes forbidding most items that security officers would have to open to inspect. Fans are no longer allowed to bring in backpacks, coolers nor camera bags. The leagues wanted to get the message out to fans so they will be prepared come the first game.
From The Panthers Website a list of the prohibited items:
- Alcoholic beverages
- All balls, including footballs of any size
- All non-transparent bags or items, including backpacks, binocular/camera cases, cinch bags, computer bags, diaper bags, fanny packs, purses larger than 4.5" x 6.5", etc.
- Baby seats
- Coolers or containers, including cans and bottles
- Folding chairs
- Food and beverages, except two (2) sealed plastic non-flavored water bottles per person
- Horns, bells, whistles and other noise makers
- Illegal drugs
- Laser pointers
- Pets, except service animals assisting those with disabilities
- Seat cushions with covers, zippers, clasps, pockets or any other device that would allow concealment of any item
- Video equipment
- Weapons of any kind, including those carried with a permit
- Other items that in the judgment of stadium management pose a safety hazard or diminish the enjoyment of an event by other patrons.