The Scoop on New NFL Handbag Rules

NFL bag policy
Houston Texans JJ Watt
JJ Watt Photo by Julie Hartman

Remember when life was simple, back when you could catch a plane, without being frisked by a complete stranger? Or go to a concert or football game without a stranger rifling through your bags? In a post 9/11 world, we’ve had to give up personal privacy in the name of public safety. NFL preseason games have kicked off, and with the 2013 season, are new NFL handbag rules that affect everyone attending games.

Back in March, I lined up at the TSA checkpoint at Bush Intercontinental, emptied my pockets, took off my shoes, belt and jacket, and started the walk of shame. Leave it to me to almost create a major incident, by walking through the body scanner with a tampon in my pocket. Yes, my face was 50 shades of red, when the TSA agent asked me ,”What’s that in your pocket? Please hand it to the male agent on your right.”Guess she felt bad for me, because when I whispered, its a tampon, she changed her mind and I was cleared.

This weekend, as fans get ready to return to Reliant Stadium, to watch the Texans take on the Miami Dolphins, many are concerned about not being able to carry purses. But the new stadium bag policy, also means no more backpacks, diaper bags, briefcases, camera bags, or anything larger than 12” x 6” x 12.”

NFL Handbag Rules
Photo from NFL

What is allowed into the stadium according to the new NFL handbag rules?

  • Small clutch purses, with/without a handle/strap, along with either the 12” by 6” by 12” clear tote bag or a one-gallon clear freezer bag.
  • Blankets are allowed, either draped over your arms or around your shoulders
  • Binoculars and cameras without the case
  • Diapers/wipes have to be in a clear approved bag
  • Every member of the family with a ticket, can each carry one clear bag and clutch purse
Houston Texans JJ Watt NFL Bag Policy
JJ Watt Photo by Julie Hartman

Fans that want to show their support for the Texans or other NFL teams, while using an approved bag, can purchase one with team logos from the NFL store or Houston Texans on Fanatics.  Since many people are just learning about the new rules, I would order as soon as possible, to make sure you have your bag before game day.

While some are grumbling about the invasion of privacy, others understand safety comes first. Ladies, put your personal items in a clutch or leave them at home, and for the guys grumbling the clear bags aren’t “manly” enough, relax. No one’s revoking your man card. You can learn more about the new NFL stadium bag policy on the NFL website.

Are you going to any NFL games this season? How will the new NFL handbag policy impact you?



    • Joyce-I believe they are being proactive. I think the Boston marathon bombing got the NFL’s attention. If you’ve been to any major sporting event recently and had your bag checked, you will notice they aren’t very thorough, so I think this is a smart move.


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