In addition to backpacks and backpack-style bags, such as drawstring bags, luggage bags, roller bags, hard-sided bags and briefcases of all sizes are prohibited inside Capital One Area, as are bags larger than 14 inches long, 14 inches tall and 6 inches wide. All of those restrictions were in place last season. Adults accompanied by small children are permitted to bring diaper bags into the arena, and exceptions will also be made for fans who use backpacks or other types of bags for medical reasons.
Baggage restrictions have tightened at sports venues in recent years, with the NFL introducing a clear bag policy in 2018. The San Jose Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues are among the NHL teams going one step further than teams like the Capitals, by implementing clear bag policies at their arenas for the coming season. Bans on backpacks, regardless of size, are increasingly common. Citing safety concerns, the Nationals joined a handful of MLB teams in banning backpacks at Nationals Park this year. Scott Fear, the Nationals’ VP of public safety and security, said the ban would “make the stadium safer and much more secure, by prohibiting the bag that has the most compartments." The Nationals have continued to allow drawstring bags since implementing their backpack ban.
There are no plans to have temporary storage lockers installed outside Capital One Arena on game nights, as is the case at Nationals Park and D.C. United’s Audi Field. In hopes of expediting the entry process, which requires all guests to walk through a metal detector, Capital One Arena will introduce “No Bag/Express Lines” at the F Street Entrance for fans without bags or bags smaller than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches.
The backpack ban isn’t the only change at Capital One Arena this season. Monumental Sports and Entertainment announced Monday that the second phase of renovations to the 22-year-old venue are on track to be completed by the Capitals’ regular season home opener on Oct. 5. While the full capabilities of the new center-hung scoreboard will not be on display during the preseason, Monday’s game should provide fans a first look at the behemoth’s 360-degree continuous video screen and 7,000 total square feet of LED display across eight distinct display areas.
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