The University of Minnesota is adopting heightened security measures, similar to the NFL model, for the Gophers’ final two home football games this season, beginning with Saturday’s game against Illinois.
The university made the change Wednesday, citing “recent worldwide events.”
“While there are currently no known threats against collegiate stadiums, University of Minnesota leaders have opted to increase security measures this weekend for the safety of TCF Bank Stadium attendees,” the university statement read.
The biggest change for Gophers fans is likely to be the new bag policy. Stadium security will allow only small bags or purses, or clear bags, similar to the Vikings' policy.
Security at Vikings games has been criticized by some fans this season, with some saying it took them an hour to get through security lines at certain games.
“While we know this may be an inconvenience for some, we ask for everyone’s patience so that we can get fans into the stadium in time for the 11 a.m. kickoff," said Tom McGinnis, Minnesota senior associate athletic director. "The safety and security of our community is our number one priority, and everyone’s help is needed and appreciated.”
The university is encouraging fans to arrive early to provide adequate time to get to their seats.
Fans who show up with bags or purses can transfer their items into clear bags provided by stadium personnel, and then take their purse or bag to the bag check in the Williams Arena lobby located (off University Avenue). Fans can also go straight to Williams Arena and drop off their full bag there.
Bag check will open at 9:30 a.m., and close one hour after the game. Fans unable to retrieve their bags then will be able to pick them up at Williams Arena lost and found on Monday.
Bags that will be allowed into TCF Bank Stadium include:
-- 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).
-- Small clutch bags (no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”), approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap.
Note: An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at any gates.
Among the items on the university's "prohibited items" list: backpacks, diaper bags, camera and binocular cases, fanny packs and non-approved seat cushions.