Huntsville implements clear bag policy

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- It's something we see at a lot of college football games and Huntsville City Schools is following suit.

This week the district implemented a clear bag policy at all athletic events. It means this week marked that first Friday night football game with the new security measure.

Tailgates and roars from the crowd are what makes Friday night so special. There's also a lot riding on the gridiron.

"I'm really excited. I heard this is going to be a great game," Grissom High School Junior Bailey Lewis said. Because this is the city rivalry game between Huntsville and Grissom.

"We have the whole little squad of Grissom ready for the Huntsville game because we're not worried about them," Grissom High School Junior Maximus Arzate said.

It's also the first Friday night football game with the new clear bag policy.

"I brought fun stuff like silly string, and pom poms, and I also brought caution tape so we can caution tape the senior section so it's just seniors, but I didn't want to carry all that so I put it in a bag and since we have to have clear bags I brought a ziplock bag," Grissom High School Senior Priscilla Boyer said.

As hundreds of people handed over their tickets, crews were on the lookout for bags that didn't fit the new security requirement.

Bags that are prohibited included, but are not limited to:

  • purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags and fanny packs that are not clear and/or exceed the size restriction
  • luggage of any kind
  • computer bags/cases
  • camera bags/cases
  • binocular bags/cases
  • any bag larger than the permissible size.

Bags that are permitted:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12";
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc bag or similar); and
  • Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5" x 6.5" (approximately the size of a hand).
  • Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a designated gate.

HCS adds blankets will still be allowed during inclement weather but must be tossed over the shoulder or arm.

Many people were turned away and asked to take their bags and put them back in their cars. Even some people who didn't know about the new policy thought it was a good idea.

"Just in case anyone brings liquor, anyone brings a weapon, or some sort, anything drugs, whatever because you never know what people are doing so," football fan Elizabeth Taylor said.

District officials are calling it another layer of safety. Because for many, the night is about winning and losing, but being safe at the stadium is a touchdown for everyone in the stands.