As part of its new “Let Purple Reign Again” marketing campaign, the University of Washington athletic department on Monday announced changes to its bag policy at Husky Stadium and different halftime availability for the drinking area known as “The Zone.”
Fans may now only carry clear bags into the stadium on game days, a policy the UW says is intended to improve fan safety. Season-ticket holders will receive a free clear bag with their season ticket packages.
“Safety is our top gameday priority, and we believe this new clear bag policy will serve as a significant enhancement,” Dan Erickson, director of events and guest services said in a statement. “We appreciate our fans working together with us to keep the greatest setting in college football a safe environment.”
Click here for the fine print. Now prohibited: purses, backpacks, diaper bags, binocular cases, camera cases, fanny packs, luggage, seat cushions with a zipper, and any bag that is not clear.
And for those who have long lamented how many fans don’t return to their seats in time for the second half because they’re busy drinking beer in “The Zone” area just beyond the east end zone, IMG (UW’s multimedia rights holder) is implementing a change to combat this issue. The Zone will now close with 10 minutes remaining in halftime, and will now sell only beer and wine during that time.
“The Zone is something we are watching very, very closely,” UW athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement. “Husky Stadium is one of the most exciting home-field environments in the Pac-12 and NCAA, and we need to be at full-strength for the second half, which means bringing fans back from The Zone and also from surrounding parking lots and boat moorage spaces. The contractors who run The Zone have assured me that they are instituting changes this year that will clear The Zone with ample time for fans to return to their seats by the start of the third quarter. The best-case scenario for all is that we are able to continue to provide a terrific fan experience in The Zone pregame, and we create a framework for fans to return by the third quarter. However, if we have not achieved that mark after this season, we will re-evaluate and have no hesitation to make any changes necessary moving forward.”
Additionally, the “Off-Leash Deck” beer garden is now open to all fans, and the Huskies plan to honor the 1991 national championship team during their Friday, Sept. 30 game against Stanford.