Zoe Berg, Photo Editor

Starting this year, Yale Athletics will be instituting a clear bag policy at John J. Lee Amphitheater and Ingalls Rink for men’s and women’s basketball and hockey. Yale first introduced the policy two years ago at the Yale Bowl.

Fans will be prohibited from bringing “unauthorized” bags into the venues, Associate Athletic Director Mike Gambardella told the News. According to the Yale Athletics website, authorized bags include official Yale clear bags — measuring one foot by one foot by six inches — in addition to one gallon clear ziplock bags and a “small hand held purse” that does not include a strap. Attendees can purchase official Yale clear bags at the stadium for five dollars.

Yale Bowl employee Bill Simmons told the News in 2019 that he had mostly positive interactions with patrons regarding the policy.

“They understand that it’s for safety reasons only and that we just want to make sure everybody enjoys the game [and] comes home safely,” Simmons said. “Anybody can come up that doesn’t have a clear [Yale] bag, and then we also offer them for $5 per clear bag … For the most part, people haven’t been angry. We just wish [the new policy] was a little better relayed.”

Athletics Director Vicky Chun told the News in 2019 that she hoped the policy would be “cost-negative for everybody” and improve safety and efficiency at the Bowl. Deputy Director of Athletics Ann-Marie Guglieri echoed that sentiment, telling the News the policy addressed “very serious long-held [safety] concerns.”

The Yale website also states that the policy is safety driven and geared towards decreasing wait times to enter stadiums.

Some students, meanwhile, expressed uncertainty in their feelings about the change.

“I applaud Yale Athletics for trying to ensure the fan experience goes off well,” Vishnu Sriram ’23 told the News. “But it is frustrating to not be able to bring backpacks into games.”

Yale Athletics

Some other universities, like Boston College, have adopted clear bag policies at football games. Though, it appears no Ancient Eight school has 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 offers for purchase are identical to those sold at NFL games and a number of other colleges around the country.

In 2013, the NFL first began changing its policy to limit the size of bags entering stadiums. Two years later, in 2015, the NFL adopted a clear bag policy at all of its stadiums.

Games will return to the Ingalls Rink on Oct. 15 when women’s ice hockey takes on the Connecticut Whale in an exhibition game. The men’s team will tip-off the basketball season at John J. Lee amphitheater on Nov. 9 against Vassar.

Nader Granmayeh is a staff writer covering football and softball for the Yale Daily News. He is originally from New York City and majoring in political science.