In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the University of Minnesota announced Wednesday new security measures for events at TCF Bank Stadium.
Under the new policy, only clear bags of a certain size or small clutch bags can be brought into the stadium. The new rule, which matches that of the Minnesota Vikings, was implemented last weekend for the Gophers game against Illinois. The limit will stay in place for the rest of the football season and winter sports season, University of Minnesota spokesperson Tim Busse said.
The clear bags can be gallon freezer bags, or bags under 12 inches by 6 inches that are plastic or vinyl. Clutch bags smaller than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches are also permitted.
NFL stadiums – — including TCF Bank Stadium during Vikings games – — already use a similar rule. Other colleges that have put a limit on bags include the University of Michigan and Penn State University.
Even though there are no known threats against TCF Bank Stadium, Busse said, the new rule is a precautionary measure to ensure fans feel safe.
Medically necessary items are an exception to the rule, and will be allowed in the stadium after a security inspection.
On Saturday, the University provided a bag check at Williams Arena, and Busse said the service will likely be offered at the next football game.
The University may also increase its police presence during football games, Busse said.
“We’ve got plans, processes and personnel at all of our games and at all of our events that can help deter, detect and respond to any emergencies that arise,” Busse said.
Fans should report any suspicious activity they see, said University Intercollegiate Athletics Communications Department Director Chris Werle.
“We’re asking all of the fans to be looking at things. If something looks odd, let us know,” Werle said.
University students said safety outweighs the inconvenience of the bag limit.
“It’s just a simple, easy measure to help us feel safer,” first-year student Logan Langeland said.
Family social science first-year student Kyla McIntire said though she didn’t think anyone would target the stadium, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“I would hope that the public would understand that this is for everyone’s safety and benefit,” Werle said. “We certainly want all the fans to have a sense that they can enjoy the game and feel safe.”