Sept 16, 2011
The NFL wants all fans patted down from the ankles up this season to improve fan safety.
Under the new “enhanced” pat-down procedures, the NFL wants all 32 clubs to search fans from the ankles to the knees as well as the waist up. Previously, security guards only patted down fans from the waist up while looking for booze, weapons or other banned items.
The stricter physical screening policy impacts the 16.6 million fans expected to attend live regular season NFL games this season.
The NFL recommended the new guidelines before Week 1 of the season, says spokesman Brian McCarthy. The league hopes fans will be “patient” — and arrive earlier to games to avoid long, punishing lines.
“The enhanced security procedures recommended by our office before the start of the season will further increase the safety of fans but will require some additional time,” McCarthy told USA TODAY in a statement Thursday. “We encourage fans to come early, enjoy their tailgating tradition, and be patient as they enter the stadium.”