Starting May 20th the Mets will no longer allow fans to bring in backpacks. This includes diaper backpacks as well. According to the Mets, prohibiting backpacks allows them to enhance security and expedite the security screening process entering Citi Field. The New York Mets are the 6th MLB team to prohibit backpacks following the Astros, Cardinals, Nationals, Rays, and Tigers.
- All purses, diaper, tote, drawstring and messenger style bags along with small soft-sided coolers that do not exceed 16″x16″x8″ are still permitted.
- Bags that exceed 16″x16″x8″.
- See the full list of prohibited items in the Citi Field Security Policy.
According to to the Mets, “Backpacks have a lot of compartments and are cumbersome to inspect.” I interpreted this as the security is lazy and cannot inspect many compartments in bags. I’ve been to Citi Field numerous times and I can’t tell you how many times security half asses their searches. They glance at my purse and say I’m good to go through the metal detector.
For parents, workers in the city and students this is very inconvenient. Fans that work in the city put their clothes and work related items (laptop) in their bags and travel with them on the train on the way to the stadium. Parents use diaper backpacks so they can hold their children and put essential baby related items (diapers, bottles, toys) in their bags. It’s convenient for them to be hands free.
Citi Field will be placing lockers outside of the stadium for fans who do bring backpacks. However, there will be a small fee. Not only do fans have to pay for their ticket, train and anything else they buy in the stadium, they now have to worry about paying a fee for their backpack. This isn’t six flags where you leave your bag in a secured locker to go on a ride, this is a baseball game.
If banning backpacks is all about safety then it would be implemented immediately but its not. This is “Security theater”. Security theater is the practice of investing in countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to achieve it. Security will continue to half ass their searches on tote bags and purses. Maybe if the Wilpons wanted fans to feel safer they would hire more security to check bags.