To provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry into Atlanta Public Schools Athletic venues, the APS Office of Safety and Security will implement an Operational Clear Bag Procedure beginning August 20, 2021, that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums, gymnasiums, and other athletic fields.

Prohibited items include but are not limited to purses larger than a 4.5″ x 6.5” clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, grocery bags, cinch bags, non-approved chair backs and seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

The new procedure is similar to those adopted by numerous college stadiums, the NFL and other venues that host other entertainment events.

“Public safety and stadium security procedures are reviewed each year as we look for ways to improve them,” said APS Police Chief Ronald Applin. “These proactive measures are meant to enhance safety inside the stadium and speed the security screening process for all fans to ensure an enjoyable experience as we strive for a safe and secure environment.”

The new procedure is also in line with the district’s COVID-19 mitigation protocols as spectators will spend less time waiting in lines.

“The clear bag is easily and quickly searched and greatly reduces faulty bag searches,” Applin said. “This will enable us to move fans through our security check points much faster.”

Fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium:

  • Tote bags 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), AND/OR
  • Small clutch bags with or without a handle or strap, no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” (approximately the size of a hand), can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bag options
  • Diapers and wipes may be carried in a permissible 12”x6”x12” clear bag (diaper bags are not permitted).

Metal detector screening and a search of all items being carried in may take place at all APS Athletic Venues. However, there are no provisions available to store or safeguard any prohibited bags.

An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate by respective gate supervisor.

Non-approved chair backs/seat cushions include large traditional seat cushions that have pockets, zippers, compartments, or covers.

AP Photo/ Elise Amendola