Vikings season starts with tight security rules at the Metrodome

The Vikings will kick off their 2013 pre-season against the Houston Texans at 7 p.m. tonight. The NFL is also kicking off a new security regime and the Vikings will be banning a wide variety of items fans are used to carrying in to their seats. That includes women’s purses bigger than an open hand.

The NFL announced the plan earlier this summer in the wake of the Boston bombings. It’s the strictest security policy in professional sports and will be instituted across the league in coming days.

Here’s a cheat sheet for fans going to Vikings games, from now on.

Out:

  • Purses bigger than 4 .5″ by 6.5″
  • Backpacks
  • Coolers of any size
  • Briefcases
  • Fanny packs
  • Seat cushions
  • Camera bags
  • Computer bags

In:

  • Clear tote bags, no bigger than 12″ by 12″ by 6 “
  • Gallon sized, clear resealable bags
  • Clutch purses without shoulder straps
  • Transparent plastic shopping bags, 12″ x 12″

The Vikings and Whelan Security say they’ll have roving “ambassadors” outside the stadium today, greeting fans and telling them about the new policy. They hope to turn back people with prohibited items before they get to the stadium gate. They’re also planning to offer a free bag check outside the Metrodome, but only for “four or five games,” according to Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson.

  • JQP
  • Ralfy

    The safety trump card is played again. This about sales – and preventing fans from bring their own refreshments into “the people’s stadium”. Not that I’m against that (I wouldn’t bring my own beverage into a theater), but the NFL should at least “man-up” and be honest about their motivation. Or are they going to ask fans to open their clothes and be subject to searches for explosive vests or underwear?

  • Jeff

    This is stupid. I lived in London in 1991 and the IRA was leaving bombs in bags around the city. The idea isn’t new. The risk of someone bringing a bomb in a bag now is no greater than it was last year. I agree with Ralfy – this is about selling more stuff. (Do they sell clear plastic tote bags with the Vikings logo? If not now, I bet they will soon.) Also, what happens when some guy shows up wearing cargo shorts with pockets larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″? Will he have to check them at the gate?

  • NathanT

    My winter coat can carry more stuff than some of the bags affected by the ban rule. What is the NFL going to do — ban parkas at Lambeau? This isn’t about safety, it’s about exploiting paranoia to sell concessions.

  • constancy

    I haven’t been to a Vikings game at the dome in years, but what do they propose for a person like me: I am a diabetic who needs to carry supplies with her at all times. How do I fit a blood sugar meter (my health insurance does not pay for an ultra small meter, just a palm size), test strips, a lancet, a bottle of insulin (along with a cold pack to keep it cool), a syringe, and a pack of emergency jelly beans into a hand-sized clutch, along with my car keys and my money and ID? seriously, carry all this in a see-through zip loc bag?? you have got to be kidding.

  • Jana Ingman

    The main question… The things they are going to sell to be able to carry inside… because you know they will, do those profits go to the rebuilding of the stadium? Because I’m already paying stupid taxes on a stupid stadium for a team thats really not worth it.