MUSEUM CAMPUS — Don't expect to bring much more than a cell phone and wallet to the next Bears game.
New restrictions on what patrons can carry into Soldier Field during home football games were posted on the Chicago Bears website Monday. The new policy will be in effect for the Bears first home preseason game Thursday night vs. the San Diego Chargers.
The announcement "strongly encourage[s]" fans not to bring bags at all, if possible. The only bags permitted must be "clear plastic, vinyl or PVC" no larger than a square foot with a depth of six inches, "one-gallon re-sealable" clear freezer bags or clutch purses "roughly the size of a hand," according to the announcement. Only one clear bag will be allowed per fan.
Expressly prohibited are larger purses and "coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, non-clear cinch bags, luggage of any kind, seat cushions with zippered covers, pockets or flaps, computer bags, camera bags, and any bag larger than the permissible size."
Despite the ban on camera bags, cameras are okay. So are binoculars, but cases for them are not allowed.
The heightened regulations are part of a nationwide NFL policy to "provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry into stadiums," according to an announcement posted on the NFL site.
The Bears said there will be no place to store the prohibited bags outside the stadium.
Pre-approved clear PVC bags with team or NFL logos are available for sale on the NFL website. They include reusable bags ($9.95), drawstring backpacks ($12.95) and "high-end messenger bags" ($19.95). Shipping costs $4.99.
For more information, view the complete NFL bag policy here.