In efforts to speed up the entry process, boost safety measures and limit physical contact, UTEP athletics plans to implement a clear bag policy for the upcoming 2020-21 athletic year.

This policy will be in place starting with the six 2020 football home games, volleyball contests and soccer matches. It will continue throughout the basketball, softball and other sports seasons with spectators.

The plan works in accordance to enforce social distancing guidelines with security checkpoints.

On Thursday, UTEP athletics released a full outline of the guidelines for the clear bag policy:

Ticket holders, including children, will be allowed to enter with bags provided they meet one of these specifications:

  • Bags (including clear backpacks) that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12"
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
  • Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand (4.5” x 6.5” or smaller), with or without a handle or strap. This can be carried separately or within a plastic bag
  • Medical bags that contain health necessary items are acceptable after proper inspection and approval from venue personnel/security

Fans are encouraged to only bring necessary items into UTEP Athletics venues.  The following items are prohibited and cannot be taken into the venue.  These items would either need to be disposed of, or returned to the fan’s car or residence before entering the venue:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Animals (service dogs or service dogs in training permitted)
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Balloons
  • Bats, poles and sticks
  • Car seats and baby strollers
  • Coolers/ice chests
  • Camera lenses larger than 4”
  • E-cigarettes
  • Firearms and fireworks
  • Flags on poles
  • Glass bottles
  • Illegal drugs
  • Laser pointers
  • Lawn chairs
  • Missile-like objects
  • Objects that can be used as projectiles (i.e. balls)
  • Outside food and beverages including alcohol (exceptions will be made for those with medical requirements and/or special needs)
  • Scooters, strollers, bicycles, roller skates and skateboards
  • Tobacco products
  • Tripods, monopods and selfie sticks
  • Umbrellas
  • Unauthorized video cameras and drones
  • Water bottles (one sealed, plastic water bottle permitted per patron)
  • Weapons
  • Any object that might pose a risk to the guest or others.

Why is UTEP Athletics implementing this policy?
UTEP Athletics regularly evaluates existing policies, practices, and procedures to determine its level of compliance with industry recognized best practices.  We determined that a revision of the policy was necessary in order to continue providing our fans the safest and most enjoyable experience.  World events continue to shape the methods utilized for venue security within UTEP Athletics and the Event Management industry.

NOTE: Other Conference USA institutions who have established a Clear Bag Policy include Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Southern Miss, UAB, UTSA and WKU.  UTEP Athletics recommends that fans traveling to other venues consult the host school’s game day policies and procedures.

How is the new policy more convenient for fans?
The clear bags will enable security to move fans through checkpoints much faster than in the past.  A standard size bag eliminates the need for bag templates to check bag sizes.  Clear bags allow staff to be more efficient and effective in keeping you safe by preventing dangerous items from entering the venue.

How does the new policy improve public safety?
The clear bag is easily and quickly searched and greatly reduces faulty bag searches.

How many bags can a person bring into the venue?
Each ticketed guest is permitted to bring one large clear bag, either the 12" x 6" x 12" clear bag or a one-gallon Ziploc-style bag, plus a small clutch purse (5" x 7").  The small clutch allows privacy for small personal items and can be easily searched.

What about diaper bags?
Everything that you would put into a diaper bag must now be carried in a clear bag.  Each member of a family, including children, is allowed to carry an approved clear bag and a clutch purse into the venue.

Can seat cushions be carried into the venue?
Seat cushions and chair backs are permissible.  Seat cushions must be 16" in width or less.

Can fans bring blankets during cold weather?
Yes, they may bring blankets into the venue by carrying them over a shoulder or arm. These items can be screened easily.

What happens if I show up at the gate with a bag that is not permitted?
Guests carrying bags that do not meet specifications will be asked to return them to their vehicles.

Fans parking in remote lots and/or taking alternate forms of transportation to UTEP Athletics facilities should consult UTEP Game Day policies and procedures prior to arrival in order to minimize inconveniences.

If I have items that I need to bring into the venue for medical purposes and they won't fit in the clear bag, what do I do?
Exceptions will be made for fans with approved medical needs.  Medically necessary bags or equipment brought into a venue will be inspected and tagged by security.  

For questions about medical equipment or other needs, please call the UTEP Special Events Office at (915) 747-5481.

Do I have to put everything I'm carrying into the permissible bags?
No. Limitations have been placed on the type of bags carried into the venue, not the items that are permissible. Guest can continue to carry items such as keys, makeup, women’s products, combs, phones, wallets, credit cards, cameras, binoculars, etc., in their hands or pockets if they choose not to place them in a clear bag or clutch purse (5" x 7"). Guests can carry a blanket over their shoulders, and binoculars and/or cameras around their necks or in their hands without the case.  Guests can also carry any personal items that meet the specified criteria in the clear bag or clutch purse.

Will clear bags with patterns or oversized logos be permitted?
No.  These types of bags are prohibited as they can jeopardize the screening process by not allowing security staff to view through and inside of the bag. 

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