Athletic Events Clear Bag Procedure


    (Bradenton, FL – August 11, 2022)

    The School District of Manatee County is announcing that enhanced safety and security measures can and will be employed at district athletic events including the use of weapons detection systems and wanding, and the resumption of a clear bag policy.

    As a reminder – with the exception of authorized law enforcement and school district security personnel – weapons of any kind are not allowed on school district campuses. That School Board policy (1217) is based on Florida Statute 790.001.

    Under the clear bag policy, fans will be permitted one large clear bag, plus a small clutch-type handbag.

    The large clear bag must be no larger than 12” x 6” x 12” and made of clear material that may be easily searched. A gallon-sized Ziploc bag is a readily available clear bag that meets these requirements. The small clutch-type handbag can be used to carry personal items and will be subject to search by security officials or law enforcement. The clutch must be no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”. Every spectator, including children, may bring in one clear bag. 

    For more information on the policy, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

    The enhanced safety and security measures will go into effect immediately and they will be used at multiple entrances to games. The enhancements are being implemented to ensure the safety of all students and spectators. Fans heading to district athletic events should arrive early to account for additional time needed to enter the games.

    We thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to a safe and exciting school year.


  • Approved: Bags that are clear plastic and do not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches and small clutch bags smaller than 4.5 x 6.5 inches.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many bags can each person bring into a District athletic event?
    One large clear bag plus a small purse-type clutch. The large clear bag must be no larger than 12” x 6” x 12” and made of clear material that is easily searched. A gallon Ziploc-style bag is a readily available clear bag that meets these requirements. The small purse-type clutch can be used to carry more personal items but remains easy to search. The clutch must be no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”. Every spectator, including children, are allowed to bring in one clear bag.

    Can fans carry cameras, binoculars, smartphones, or tablets separately from what they put in a clear bag?
    Yes. Binoculars or cameras can be carried into the stadium as long as they are carried by hand or placed in a clear bag. Bags designed specifically to carry these items are prohibited.

    Are seat cushions or blankets during cold weather allowed to be carried into a District event?
    Yes, but they are subject to inspection. They should not be in a bag or other container.

    What happens if I show up at an event with a bag that is not permitted?
    Fans carrying bags that do not meet the criteria will be turned away from the gates. They will have the opportunity to return prohibited items to their car. Bags cannot be left unattended anywhere on the campus.

    If I have certain medically necessary items that I need to bring into the stadium that will not fit in a clear bag, what do I do?
    An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection. A gate administrator will be able to assist with these situations.

    Are all purses prohibited?
    No. Small clutch purses, with or without a handle or strap, are permitted along with the clear bag. We encourage fans to visit the stadium without any bags; however, this procedure has been created to balance spectator needs with public safety. 

    Do I have to put everything I’m carrying into the permissible bag?
    No. This procedure limits the types of bags coming into the event, not the types of items you normally bring to a game. You can still carry items such as keys, makeup, feminine products, comb, phone, or wallet in your pockets or jacket. Items such as binoculars or cameras can be carried by hand or around your neck using a carry-strap, and a blanket can be draped over your arm. For other items that require a bag, the use of the clear bag is required.

    What happens if a gun, knife, or other prohibited item is found in a bag during an inspection?
    As before, on-site law enforcement officers will be immediately notified if any contraband is located on school property. Guns, knives, drugs, and alcohol are all prohibited on campus.

    Will the media or student athletes participating in the event be allowed to bring bags into the venue?
    Yes. Members of the media with a press credential will be allowed to bring equipment bags into the venue; however, these are subject to inspection. Student athletes actively participating in the event at the stadium may also carry their equipment bags; however, these are also subject to inspection.

    Is this policy only in place at football games? What about other events or those activities held at other schools?
    The “clear bag or no bag” procedure is in place at all SDMC athletic events.