The Austin school district announced Friday a clear bag policy at athletic events that officials say is meant to enhance safety and security for athletes and spectators.
The policy, set to begin Aug. 30, will be enforced at Burger Stadium, Delco Center, House Park, Nelson Field and Noack Sports Complex. It could be expanded in the future to include school campuses, district officials said.
“We are in a different place in society now, and we have to be proactive in terms of taking steps in terms of making our fans safe,” district athletic director Leal Anderson said Friday. “Hopefully, we can be more transparent and know what is entering into our stadiums.”
The types of bags that will be permitted are:
- Bags that are clear plastic and do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches.
- One-gallon, clear-plastic freezer bags.
- Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags with a maximum of one logo that doesn’t exceed 4.5 inches by 3.4 inches.
- Small clutch bags or purses with or without a strap that are the size of a hand
Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at designated areas.
Any backpacks, bags with printed patterns, fanny packs, purses, reusable grocery bags, mesh or straw bags, duffel bags, large totes, camera or binocular cases and diaper bags will now be banned.
“Additionally, common items not permitted in athletics venues are video cameras, professional detachable-lens cameras, electronic equipment cases, banners, fireworks, strollers, tripods, alcoholic beverages, coolers, cans, bottles, umbrellas, flagpoles, pets or artificial noisemakers,” the district said.
The guidelines are similar to those put in place at University of Texas athletic events during the last school year.
“It’s not new to our city,” Anderson said. “We wanted it to be consistent.”
The district also will make bags that meet the new standards available for people to purchase.
“We want it to be a smooth transition into the stadium for all of our fans that are here,” Anderson said.
Ticket takers at the stadiums will check the clear bags as people enter for games, the district said. No other security measures will change for the time being, school officials said.