A new bag check procedure is in place for Northwestern State home football games, beginning with Saturday’s home opener at 6 in Turpin Stadium against Grambling.
Any purse or bag brought to the stadium will be searched at gates by trained personnel, said Mike Jacklich, assistant athletics director for ticketing and special events.
Fans who don’t bring bags may more quickly enter the stadium at the southwest gate on the press box side, and at the east gate on the opposite side of the stadium, where the NSU student section is located.
The search is aimed at preventing weapons from entering the stadium, along with outside food and beverage, alcohol, drugs, umbrellas, and other items deemed inappropriate by gameday staff or NSU police, said Jacklich. Umbrellas have been banned from NSU home games for many years.
“Bottom line: we want our fans to feel safe at our venues. As such, we’re instituting for the first time a bag check policy at the gates,” said Jacklich. “As fans approach our stadium, they will be warned by signage and general carnival-barking to have their bags open and ready to be checked,” he said. “We’ll have a cheerful staff ready and waiting, and with enough advance notice to our fans, we believe it won’t take any additional time at all to get through the gates.”
Fans will be allowed to bring factory-sealed water bottles up to 20 ounces into the stadium.
Patrons are encouraged to arrive early at the stadium gates. Activity on the field begins with pregame warmup an hour before kickoff, and the Spirit of Northwestern marching band’s pregame show begins at 20 minutes prior to the game.
NSU staff members attended an intense risk-management training session this spring, leading to the decision to institute the new bag policy, he said.
“We here at Northwestern State University consider safety of all fans a top priority. The new bag check protocols have been set in place to ensure the safety of all our spectators,” said Captain Wesley Harrell of University Police. “Other schools in the area have already instituted such policies. We are committed to keeping our fans safe on our campus.”
Fellow Southland Conference members McNeese and Southeastern Louisiana have already moved to clear bag policies for home events. LSU been doing so for two years. Other venues around the state including the Mercedes Benz Superdome and the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, along with the Century Link Center in Bossier City, also have clear bag policies and bag checks.
NSU will begin a clear bag requirement with the start of the 2018-19 basketball season, said Jacklich. Clear bags are available for purchase at the nsudemongear.com site, which can also be accessed through the nsudemons.com website by clicking the “shop” button.
For more information on NSU Football gameday policies and procedures, visit nsudemons.com/footballgameday online or call 318-357-5251.
Fans are encouraged to download the new Northwestern State Athletics Mobile app to stay up to date on the latest news and alerts from NSU Athletics.