In an effort to increase safety protections and streamline stadium entry, Yale Athletics is expanding its clear bag policy to the Ingalls Ice Rink and John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Zoe Berg, Photo Editor
Beginning this year, Yale Athletics will institute a clear bag policy at the John J. Lee Amphitheater and Ingalls Rink for basketball and men’s and women’s hockey. Yale first introduced the policy two years ago at the Yale Bowl.
Fans will be prohibited from bringing “unauthorized” bags to venues, associate sporting director Mike Gambardella told The News. According to the Yale Athletics website, permitted bags include the official Yale clear bags – measuring one foot by one foot by six inches – in addition to the one-gallon clear ziplock bags and a “small purse” that does not include no strap. Participants can purchase official Yale clear bags at the stadium for five dollars.
Yale Bowl employee Bill Simmons told News in 2019 that he has had mostly positive interactions with customers regarding the policy.
“They understand it’s just for safety’s sake and we just want to make sure everyone enjoys the game [and] come home safe and sound, ”said Simmons. “Anyone can come who doesn’t have a clear idea [Yale] bag, and then we also offer them for $ 5 per transparent bag … Most of the time, people are not angry. We just wish [the new policy] was a little better relayed.
Athletic Director Vicky Chun told The News in 2019 that she hopes the policy will be “negative for everyone” and improve safety and efficiency at the Bowl. Deputy athletics director Ann-Marie Guglieri echoed the sentiment, telling the News that the policy was “very serious for a long time. [safety] concerns. “
Yale’s website also says the policy is focused on safety and aimed at reducing wait times to enter stadiums.
Some students, meanwhile, expressed uncertainty in their feelings about the change.
“I applaud Yale Athletics for trying to make sure the fan experience is going well,” Vishnu Sriram ’23 told The News. “But it’s frustrating not being able to bring backpacks into the games.”
Some other universities, such as Boston College, have adopted clear bag policies during football games. However, it appears that no Ancient Eight school followed Yale’s lead with the Clear Bag mandate. Penn Athletics limits the size of bags while Harvard and Dartmouth allow all types of bags but specify that they will be subject to inspection. Cornell does not appear to have adopted the policy at the Lynah Rink.
At the time of the Yale Bowl announcement, Vicky Chun told the News that the clear bags Yale is offering for purchase are identical to those sold in NFL games and at a number of other colleges across the country.
In 2013, the NFL began changing its policy to limit the size of bags entering stadiums. Two years later, in 2015, the NFL adopted a clear bag policy in all of its stadiums.
The games return to Ingalls Rink on October 15 when the women’s ice hockey team faces the Connecticut Whale in an exhibition game. The men’s team will kick off the basketball season at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on November 9 against Vassar.