I’m a huge baseball fan. My team is the Washington Nationals, and I am still floating on Cloud 9 after they won the World Series in Game 7 against the Houston Astros. My entire family loves baseball and we go to many games throughout the season, it's a big part of our life. I have photos of me wearing a Rebecca Minkoff Nikki at Nationals Park in 2009, but long gone are the days of large bags in stadiums. Due to safety precautions, bigger bags have been banned from most sporting stadiums and arenas.
Whenever I go to a game, I am always conscious of which bags to bring with me to the stadium since there are many policies in place. I have found myself carrying the bare minimum to games to save myself the hassle when going through security. I saw a woman get turned away from entering the stadium at the World Series in Washington, DC because she was carrying a backpack, which subsequently has become my new fashion fear.
Each sport has different bag policies in place, so I thought it would be helpful to break down what is permissible for each sport and some recommendations of cute bags that adhere to the rules. As always, I recommend looking up the stadium you are going to specifically when you go to a game, but hopefully these bags will spark some inspiration. No Ziploc baggies to be seen here!
Major League Baseball
The MLB rules are a little trickier because each team has slightly different policies, so I always recommend looking up the policy of the stadium where you are attending a game beforehand, especially for baseball. However, the MLB is trying to standardize its policy. They have implemented security screenings at every stadium, meaning all guests will go through metal detectors and your bag will be searched by security prior to entry. Per the ticketcity.com MLB blog, “many of these major league teams allow soft-sided bags no bigger than 16" x 16" x 8". Hard-sided bags or containers will not be allowed in the venue”. I’ve also noticed that most baseball stadiums have prohibited backpacks and I wouldn't be surprised if this became a standard rule for the MLB soon.
The National Basketball Association
The NBA has a bag policy that applies across the league. It strictly prohibits backpacks and hard-sided bags that are over 14" x 14" x 6". However, they do allow drawstring and “fashion backpack purses”, but with the no backpack policy, I would opt against any sort of backpack just in case. The NBA recommends only bringing a bag “if absolutely necessary”, so maybe grab a mini bag or wallet on a chain to cheer on your favorite basketball team.
The National Football League
The NFL has what I consider the strictest bag policy out of any sport, even strongly encouraging fans not to wear any bag at all to games. However, as purse lovers we know that is not always possible, so they have outlined the following rules (which I got from my reliable ticketcity.com resource).
• Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12" (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags will be available through club merchandise outlets or at nflshop.com/allclear), or
• One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
• Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bags.
Gu_De Water Small Tote ($509)
The National Hockey League
The NHL has a standardized policy, and backpacks are banned across the league no matter the stadium. Bags over 14" x 14" x 6" are not permitted, so mini bags again are the star here. The ticketcity.com NHL blog states that “other objects prohibited by most or all teams include coolers, “over-sized flags or signs”, wrapped gifts or sealed parcels, laser pointers, noisemakers, self-defense spray, inflatable objects, poles or sticks (either attached to signs or not), or promotional materials.”. I think if you’re heading to a hockey game it’s safe to say that bringing less is best.
Acne Studios Mini Bag Fluo ($450)
If you want to go the extra mile and wear a team-specific handbag, Dooney & Bourke offer a sports line to show your support for your team with your bag. Some of the designs will not be permitted in the stadiums due to their size, but you can still represent your team on a day-to-day basis with one of their bags or get a smaller style.
What's your favorite sports team? I'd love to know!