One of the post-9/11 Yankee Stadium policies that made attending a game so annoying during the park’s twilight years was their ban on bags and backpacks:
Accompanying the regular renditions of “God Bless America” were heightened security procedures that subjected patrons to no small litany of hassles while doing little to make them more secure. Given the cursory frisking procedures and lack of metal detection capabilities, it would have been possible to gain entry with a 9mm handgun jammed down the back of one’s pants and a Bowie knife sheathed in one’s sock, but without those, the organization simply inflicted its increasing paranoia and greed upon paying customers. Backpacks and briefcases were immediately banned from the ballpark after September 11, as though any potential ticketholder might be a terrorist smuggling in a tactical nuclear weapon swiped from the imagination of some z-grade thriller. Not even Shea Stadium—located only two miles from LaGuardia Airport—stooped to such extremes. Anyone coming to the park while porting one of the banned bag types—say, from work—was forced to check it for a fee at one of the bars or restaurants across River Avenue. Anyone wishing to schlep a bagful of items into the stadium — say, a scorebook, a jacket, and reading material for the long subway ride home — was forced to place those items in a flimsy, clear plastic grocery-type bag available outside the turnstiles. No other types of bags, such as ones with reinforced handles, were allowed, first for vague “security purposes,” and then, once fans began pressing Yankee security to explain these increasingly irrational and seemingly arbitrary requests, “because you’re not allowed to bring bags with logos inside.” As you may have divined, I had many a terse confrontation over this policy.
Thankfully, the ban has finally been lifted and the team’s policy has been officially updated, bringing the Yanks into line with the several hundred other professional sporting facilities in the country. This isn’t to congratulate the Yankees on finally showing some common sense, but merely one last Bronx cheer for over eight years of idiocy and inconvenience.
Hat tip to Neil deMause, who also passed along potentially good news about Yankees playoff ticket prices. A rare week when the morons, imbeciles, crooks and thugs running the non-baseball side of the operation do more than one right.