This evening’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings might be an exhibition, but it seems like more than just another preseason game. The game will be seen by a national audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and when I arrived several hours before kickoff the interior parking lot was mostly full.

The security won’t be any less strict, as this sign reminds anyone driving in …

49ers Candlestick Park NFL Bag Policy

Exclamation points! The NFL and the 49ers mean business! Except one wonders whether it helps business to alienate a significant chunk of your fan base.

Women are angry about the NFL’s new Bag Policy, and who can blame them?

The NFL strongly encourages fans to not bring any type of bags, but outlined today what is permissible. Beginning with preseason games, fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag, package, or container at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates, or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.” (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags will be available through club merchandise outlets or at nflshop.com/allclear), or
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).

NFL Bag Policy

  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bags.
  • An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.

NFL Bag Policy small bags clutch bags allowed

My wife is attending tonight’s game with her dad. After reading what the policy allows her to bring in, she said, “That means I can’t really bring anything.” I brought up the bag check tents located around the stadium, but she had heard that it takes about an hour to get your bag after the game because the lines move so slowly.

But on the plus side, anyone who’s thought about purchasing a clear plastic bag with the NFL’s logo now has the perfect reason to buy one. Ladies, get ready to show off your money, credit cards and feminine hygiene products in style!

The NFL might be too worried about the players wearing their uniforms correctly to realize this, but most women aren’t a fan of sticking a bunch of items in their pockets. Any items, really. I’m often tasked with carrying my wife’s credit card, ID or keys whenever she doesn’t feel like carrying anything. Some women carry their phone in a back pocket while walking, but that doesn’t necessarily work for sitting.

Several people have also voiced their concern about parking lot thieves taking advantage of the NFL’s new rules — anyone who forgets about the bag policy or came in unaware will have no choice but to leave their belongings in the car. However, there are two things that might keep the burglary rate low in the parking lot: an increased SFPD presence at both today’s game and the first preseason game against Denver, and the rule prohibiting fans from loitering in the parking lots after kickoff.

So there’s your reminder about the bag policy, which probably comes too late. My apologies, I forgot about the policy myself until I walked across the pedestrian bridge on my way to Gate D and saw the exclamatory sign. On a happier note, the 49ers have decided to keep “49ers” in the old-style font in both end zones.

San Francisco 49ers end zone Candlestick Park