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How To: Follow the Clear Bag Policy

Courtesy of The Atlanta Voice

The Blueprint

The phrase “clear bag policy” has been buzzing around stadiums, arenas, concert venues, and retailers since late 2013. The clear bag policy is when a venue requires a guest to (if needed) carry a handbag that is clear plastic, vinyl or PVC under a specific measurement to attend an event.

Ever since the National Football League (NFL) implemented its clear bag policy back in 2013, many other stadiums and organizations have followed suit. The clear bag policies extend far past major sporting events though. Many schools and concert venues have also adapted these policies, seeking to ensure better safety for its occupants.

The goal of the NFL was to build a safer environment and assist with line efficiency. The result over the next few years enhanced fan experience, established safer games and strengthened venue security. The adaptation of the policy quickly spread to other leagues, including the NCAA, which has the most similar policy in play for men’s and women’s sports.

Between the differing policies, all the different bag options, and determining the necessities to fill a clear bag, prepping before a game day or concert can be a stressful experience. And, with many leagues starting up for the season, now more than ever is an important time to look for stadium-friendly bags. That’s why this blog is here to guide you all the way through!

Throughout the Leagues and Venues

NFL: As the NFL’s official website states, “The NFL strongly encourages fans not to bring any bags, but 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" or 30.5 x 15.25 x 30.5 cm. This includes clear backpacks, clear fanny packs and clear cinch bags that fit within the permissible dimensions.” This rule was implemented back at the creation of the clear bag policy in 2013, and many other venues use the NFL’s policy as a blueprint for their own policies.

NBA: As of 2022, the NBA does not have a clear bag policy, but, there has been a bag policy implemented to all NBA teams. The NBA bag policy prohibits all backpacks and hard-sided bags, along with any other bags (including briefcases, luggage, purses and diaper bags) that are larger than 14” x 14” x 6” in size. However, single compartment drawstring bags and fashion backpack purses are permitted.

Courtesy of Game Day Fitted (gamedayfitted on Instagram)

NHL: Unlike the NFL and the NBA, the NHL has left it up to each individual team to make major decisions regarding what is/isn’t allowed into their arenas. However, the biggest change, in terms of safety and security, in recent years has been the types and size of bags that are allowed into an arena. While some teams only listed

“oversized bags” as prohibited, most teams have a bag size of 14”x14”x6” as the limit. Backpacks are prohibited across the league, which is one of the only uniform policy decisions related to this issue. It is recommended that fans visit the individual arena or team website to find their specific bag policy in advance.

MLB: The official MLB bag policy states: “Backpacks are not allowed in any MLB stadium. This includes small backpacks, large backpacks, and any other type of backpack. All bags must be able to fit under your seat or in your lap. If you must bring a bag with you, it must be clear and no larger than 16”x16”x8”. The only exception to the

backpack policy is for fans with medical needs. If you have a medical condition that requires you to carry a bag, you must obtain a credential from the MLB before entering the stadium.”

NCAA: Many conferences have been and are adopting clear bag policies, but college football bag policies still vary by conference and venue. If a clear bag policy is in place, it specifies that a fan can bring in one clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag that does not exceed 12”x6”x12” in size. As an alternative, a one-gallon plastic freezer bag can also be used.

Concert venues: There is no clear bag policy for concerts like the NFL has instituted, but it is dependent on the venue’s restrictions. Make sure to double-check the requirements of the venue you are attending so you comply with all rules and regulations. Even if there are no policies, clear bags for concerts always make security checks faster and finding what you need in a dark area much easier.

Typically when a clear bag policy is in place, the only non-clear bag that can be brought in is a small clutch bag. No purses, backpacks, or diaper bags. If a clear bag policy is not in place, other common policies state that either bags that are small enough to fit under a seat are permitted, or no bags are permitted at all. However, this still depends on the sport and venue. It is recommended that fans visit the individual stadium/arena/field or team website to find their specific bag policy in advance.

The Best of Clear Bags

For those stadiums, arenas, and other venues that enforce a clear bag policy, there are many options for bags out there. In recent years, these clear bags have not only become popularly sold for sporting events and concerts, but even as a fashion statement. Here are some of my clear bag top picks:

Veckle Clear Fanny Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 11 x 6.5 x 5.9 inches | Strap length: 19-47 inches | Material: PVC | Waterproof: Yes | Colorways: 10

If you’re looking for something that you can keep close to you, like a fanny pack, or sling over your shoulder, like a crossbody belt bag, the Veckle Clear Fanny Pack is for you! This Amazon fanny pack has 4,000+ verified five-star ratings, and is not only extremely affordable, but it even comes in several strap options. One verified reviewer commented, “The size is nice, easily could fit my jingling keys, phone, lip gloss/other accessories in the front zipper part. With plenty of room for more in the back part. I could also squeeze a regular sized water bottle in there.”

Shop the Veckle Clear Fanny Pack on Amazon for $14.99.

Clear Stadium Crossbody Bag

Dimensions: 8.3 x 8 x 2.3 inches | Material: Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)

This simple crossbody bag is an affordable and a great last-minute option for all sports fans and concertgoers. Shop TODAY associate SEO editor Kamari Stewart said she is a fan of this simple crossbody from Dick's Sporting Goods. She purchased it as a last-minute choice before a two-day festival because it was affordable and was pleasantly surprised by the quality. "Don't be fooled by how small it looks," she says. "It was roomy enough to fit two wallets, hand sanitizer, sunglasses, a portable charger, two blotting powders, two makeup brushes and two lip glosses."

Shop the Clear Stadium Crossbody Bag at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $12.99.

Vorspack Clear Crossbody Purse

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 8 x 10 inches | Strap length: 25-50 inches | Material: PU leather | Colorways: 9

If you’re looking for a crossbody that feels a little less casual, but still chic and functional, the Vorspack Clear Crossbody Purse is for you! This multipurpose crossbody includes a lengthy shoulder strap and a detachable wristlet if you'd rather go clutch. With nine different color options, you can even choose the color that best fits your team or event! It has 4,200+ verified five-star ratings on Amazon, and one Shop TODAY writer even said she "still feels trendy while wearing it."

Shop the Vorspack Clear Crossbody Purse on Amazon for $10.99.

Edraco Hologram Tote Bag

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 6 inches | Strap length: 9 inches | Material: PVC | Waterproof: Yes

This holographic tote bag adds a ton of space and a ton of flare to your game day or concert outfit. One Amazon reviewer even said it’s large enough to hold a 13-inch iPad! It is important to note, however, that it does not have a snap closure, so keep that in mind before you purchase.

Shop the Edraco Hologram Tote Bag on Amazon for $13.99.

Eland Mini Clear Purse

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.5 x 5 inches | Strap length: 6.3 inches | Material: Vinyl

If you’re looking for a smaller, more shoulder bag feel for your clear bag, this clear purse is for you! Even though it just has one compartment, it can still hold quite a bit. And, with its sturdy zipper, it opens with easy access and keeps your belongings safe.

Shop the Eland Mini Clear Purse on Amazon for $10.99.

The Best of Other Bags

For those stadiums, arenas, and other venues that don’t enforce a clear bag policy, but still enforce some kind of bag policy, there are still so many options for bags out there. Here are some of my other stadium/venue bag top picks:

Everywhere Belt Bag 1L

Courtesy of Lululemon

Dimensions: 7.5 x 2 x 5 inches | Strap length (when fully extended): 41.7 inches | Material: Nylon (inside is Polyester) | Water Repellent Fabric: Yes | Colorways: 15

This crossbody belt bag is a great option for stadiums, arenas, and other venues that enforce a bag policy that requires bags to fit under your seat. This bag fits all the necessities: phone, keys, wallet. It allows you to keep them close, and with the hidden zipper pocket in the back, keeps your personal belongings safe. I, personally, recommend this bag to anyone and everyone. It allows you to get out the door fast and efficiently, just needing to throw your belt bag over your shoulder. It’s stylish, trending, durable, and the perfect bag. And, with 15 different color options, you can easily make it yours!

Shop the Everywhere Belt Bag 1L at Lululemon for $38 - $48.

Beurlike Leather Wristlet

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 9 x 0.59 x 6 inches | Straps: 2 strap options (1 removable wrist strap, 1 removable crossbody shoulder strap adjustable from 16.5 to 43 inches) | Material: Genuine Leather | Colorways: 16

This wristlet is cute, simple, and convertible! With the option to wear it as a wristlet or a crossbody purse, this bag is for anyone and everyone. And, with durable leather material and 16 different color options, you can easily make it yours! Fitting under stadium seats, this is a perfect option to follow non-clear-bag bag policies.

Shop the Beurlike Leather Wristlet on Amazon for $15.11.

The Necessities

Now that you’ve seen all the different stadium and arena-friendly bags, you might be asking: “What are some of the necessities I should have in my bag on game day?” Well, here are a few of my tried and tested favorites for packing my game day bag:

With stadium-accepted bags being on the smaller side, it’s important to remember that you have limited space. That’s why I would recommend getting a cardholder so that you can efficiently keep your ID and card with you in your bag. Also, keep in mind that most stadiums are cashless, so you would have more room in your bag with just your ID and card instead of cash.

Courtesy of Amazon

This cardholder from Amazon is simple, slim, customizable (with five different color options), and affordable, for just $6.99!

Stadiums, arenas, and venues hold thousands of people for countless events, and though cleaned, surfaces are constantly being touched. Especially in times like these, it is important to keep up on hand washing and hygiene, but that can be difficult when bathroom lines are, in my experience, extremely long. That’s why I think it’s super important to keep hand sanitizer on you in your game day bag!

Courtesy of Ulta Beauty

This Touchland Power Mist hand sanitizer spray is perfect for on-the-go and in your bag! It is slim, efficient, and comes in many different kinds of colors and scents! For just $10.00 at Ulta Beauty, you can snatch this to add to your game day bag.

As women in sports, we live for the game…and Instagram pictures. That’s why a good lip gloss is always a necessity!

Courtesy of Teen Vogue

This NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss is PERFECT for that half-time touch up, and that much needed daily lip hydration! Teen Vogue ranked this their “Best Drugstore Lip Gloss,” and said, “NYX's buttery formula is the stand-out of this lip gloss. It's so easy to apply and never feels heavy on the lips. Another plus? When the color wears away (after eating your midday snacks), you won't be left with a goopy line on the perimeter of your lips.” This gloss is not sticky, has so many different color options, and is perfect to add to your game day bag! For just $5, you can find the NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss on Amazon or at Ulta Beauty.

Some other little necessities I love to keep on hand are things like gum, a Sharpie and a puck/hat/jersey if I get a chance to get a player’s autograph, hair ties and clips, and my favorite travel-size perfume! These, among many others, and great to have with you in your stadium-friendly bag on game day!

So, before your next game day…

…use this blog!! It’s a great guide to the odds and ends of the bag policies across the leagues and stadiums, as well as a great guide to the best bags and the necessities to put in them for game day! With these tips and tricks, you’ll have the best game day bag on game day!

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