The first home football game of the year for Western Illinois University is September 14 against Montana State University. While the athletic department hopes fans bring their team spirit to Hanson Field, it hopes they leave a few things at home.
WIU Athletics has implemented a “clear bag” policy for all home football games this season. Athletics Director Danielle Surprenant said spectators will only be allowed to enter the stadium with:
- Bags that are transparent plastic, vinyl or PVC tote and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12"
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc bag or similar)
- Small clutch bags no larger than 5.5"x 6.5"
“It’s about being proactive and just making sure that everything we do enhances the safety and security of the spectators, the student-athletes, the fans, coaches, and everyone involved,” said Surprenant.
Surprenant said there was not a specific incident that prompted the new policy. She said it has already been adopted by other programs in the Missouri Valley Conference, of which WIU is a member.
People who bring a backpack, a briefcase, or a large purse to the game will be asked to return them to their vehicles or their dorm rooms. Exceptions will be made for diaper bags, bags used to carry medical equipment, or bags used by credentialed journalists.
Surprenant said there are no current plans to implement the policy outside of home football games.