Protecting The Costumed Super Fan | Guide For NFL Stadiums Policies

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Picture credited to Luke Quave aka Gorilla Luke

As most know the NFL has a long history of fanatics or super fans or however you would like to refer to these individuals who go above and beyond for their NFL teams on gameday. From facepaint, to masks, and full on costumes to show their team pride, and spirit on gameday.

Mostly made famous by the Black Hole in Oakland. NFL super fandom is one of the many things that make the NFL great, and unique. These individuals who take their time, and hard earned money for a few weekends out of the year to become someone else from their mundane everyday lives for a few hours on Sunday’s a few times out of the year.

They bring an extra spark to the tailgates, an extra added element to the fan experience, and a fun encouraging element to the NFL that you can be what you want to be when your at a game. They give fans attending the game that extra fun element from the kids who get a kick out of their outfits, to the fans who just want to take a photo with them.

They’re a part of what makes the NFL great because anyone can be one. It’s not limited to who’s the most noteworthy super fan, or who spent the most on their gameday attire.

As one of those fans I was unhappy to see what I did over Pro Bowl weekend to some of my fellow costumed fans who were attending the event in Orlando.

While attending the Pro Bowl in Orlando (which they attended dressed in their normal gameday attire in 2017 as well) they were approached by security and kicked out of Camping World Stadium for their costumes.

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Picture via Luke Quave. Pictured Gorilla Luke, Seasquatch, and Gorilla Josh at the 2018 Pro Bowl

One of the three in the group who was ejected, Heath Brewster aka SeaSquatch (Seahawks fanatic) traveled all the way from the state of Washington across the country to Orlando for this event. Which should be noted as this story is told.

The reason given by security was the NFL didn’t want them wearing “masks” in the stadium and that it was the “NFL’s” call to kick them out. While the security wasn’t in the wrong given Camping World’s Stadium Pro Bowl event prohibited items policy after further review on my part from the Camping World Stadium site (which can be found below).

It is a ridiculous rule given the history of the NFL, and fans dressing up in this way when you’re hosting an NFL event such as the Pro Bowl. Also it’s not a normal rule used at NFL events which makes it all the more confusing to the normal NFL fan. As you can witness the ejection below via the video by Luke Quave aka Luke Gorilla (Dolphins Fanatic)

(The second video includes some explicit language):

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Screenshot via Heath Brewster aka SeaSquatch

Now this is the second incident this season that costumed fans have ran into a problem at an NFL event after going through security, and entering the stadium. Earlier this season well known Chargers fanatic Dan Jauregui aka Boltman was almost kicked out from a Chargers home game in StubHub Center, the Chargers temporary home after moving from San Diego to L.A.

He was also confronted with a similar policy by the stadium security as Luke, and company in the above video. In neither instance was either party being unruly, or doing anything deserving of being removed from the stadium nor was their costume obscene in any way. Both parties also adhered to NFL security checks, and scans upon entering the stadium. Only to be approached later in the stadium to be removed.

Here is the video and a interview from Boltman’s perspective of his altercation with security:

Interview with Dan Jauregui:

https://omny.fm/shows/scott-and-br/9-25-boltman

So given what happened this weekend. As a fellow costumed fan who enjoys attending NFL events and has visited several NFL stadiums (which are listed below) in my outfits, which I wear a mask with my outfit too.

  • Paul Brown Stadium
  • Everbank Field
  • AT&T Stadium
  • Ford Field
  • Bank Of America Stadium
  • Georgia Dome
  • MetLife Stadium
  • Nissan Stadium
  • Raymond James Stadium

I thought I would go through each NFL stadium policy, and outline the stadiums that are more “costume friendly”, and point out the one’s “not costume friendly” across the league for my masked, and costumed fanatics who want to show their team spirit in their own way at games.

This way they can plan accordingly when attending their NFL events, and avoid any issues with security, or have something to fall back on when confronted by security. I will be including a screen shot of each stadiums prohibited items for every NFL event stadium.

It is worth noting each NFL stadium can “deem” something prohibited on their own discretion which is normally listed on each policy which is likely to avoid any legal issues if they deny you entry into the stadium under any reason not listed.

I also found an interesting reason some of my costume comrades are all of the sudden running into issues at these stadiums. When this was never an issue before.

Now I will preface this that these policies can change, and while I hope that the teams, the NFL, or stadiums would make fans aware of any changes. I can only say these are the policies across the league as of 01/29/2018 as far as prohibited items in a stadium.

STADIUMS NOT COSTUME FRIENDLY 

  • Los Angeles Chargers (StubHub Center)

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The location of the incident with Boltman. One of the things I have noticed in relation to both incidents and the three teams with stadium policies not friendly to costumed fans that have caused these two issues is that all three stadiums I will be listing aren’t official NFL stadiums.

In fact two of which are temporary homes to NFL teams, and the other up until recently only hosted college games occasionally. While I am guessing they’re using the guise of the NFL name to enforce their personal normal stadium policies while being able to say “it’s the NFL rules”. This appears to be the crux of the issue.

Now I’m unsure how much of this policy has been changed or added onto since the incident with Boltman earlier in the season. Given the timing of me typing this, but the Chargers do have strict guidelines for our masked fanatics.

While I assume some of these guidelines have been updated since that incident. It’s still a pretty strict policy that could get you ejected from their 27,000 seated home. My suggestion would be to wait until their new stadium is built and see what the policy is once they’re in an actual NFL owned stadium before visiting.

  • Los Angeles Rams (Memorial Coliseum)

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Now I am unsure if this is just a Los Angeles regional thing or a college stadium thing, but the mask issue seems to pop up at both temporary venues in Los Angeles. Like I said in the previous post. I would wait until they’re moved into their new NFL home, and revisit both cases.

For now it appears both the Chargers, and Rams would not be a friendly place for your usual costumed fan, and you could risk ejection by attending in your fanatic gameday attire. I say avoid both stadiums.

  • Pro Bowl  (Camping World Stadium)

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The current home for the Pro Bowl in Orlando and location of the incident with Luke and Heath, follows in the same line of policies as the first two stadiums with issues over fans costumes. The stadium who usually hosts college events (like the first two stadiums) has masks listed on it’s prohibited items list.

While I think banning masks is a ridiculous rule for any stadium policy as long as you are properly scanned, take off the mask, and checked at the initial security check point when entering the stadium. For some reason these college and non-NFL stadium enforce these policies as seen above.

Which has caused issues with NFL fans entering these rental stadiums who are not use to these type of policies. While hosting NFL events I believe the stadium should bend it’s policies to the NFL not the other way around since they’re renting your stadium for their event. Saying that if you’re a masked fanatic or fan who normally dresses up for NFL events. I would say steer clear of these three venues.

  • Kansas City Chiefs (Arrowhead Stadium)

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The Chiefs have a policy that does not prohibit costumes or masks, but could cause problems for the masked fan as they go to their stadium. Due to their policy including a piece saying they “discourage” wearing masks to their games.

I almost overlooked this section completely when looking over their rules since it was separate from the prohibited items list. This could cause problems for fans attending their events. So keep in mind it may be best to contact them prior to attending an event.

 

COSTUME FRIENDLY STADIUMS 

Pretty much every NFL privately owned stadium.

  • Arizona Cardinals (University Of Phoenix Stadium)

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  • Atlanta Falcons (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)

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  • Baltimore Ravens (M&T Bank Stadium)

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  • Buffalo Bills (New Era Field)

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Now I won’t go into description about all the rest of the NFL Stadium’s prohibited item’s policies under the screen shot like here. Since they’re mostly all the same, and don’t deny any mask/costume wearing fans entry. I will note one thing on the Buffalo Bills policy that I think should be pointed out for some of my costumed friends.

They include “any headwear or clothing that may impede the view of a guest” which means any costumes that may include large headwear or large shoulder pads. While it doesn’t prohibit you from wearing a costume or mask to the stadium and seems fairly fanatic friendly. Be warned not to go in with any oversized items for this stadium.

  • Carolina Panthers (Bank Of America Stadium)

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  • Chicago Bears (Soldier Field)

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  • Cincinnati Bengals (Paul Brown Stadium)

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  • Cleveland Browns (FirstEnergy Stadium)

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  • Dallas Cowboys (AT&T Stadium)

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  • Denver Broncos (Sports Authority Field)

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  • Detroit Lions (Ford Field)

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  • Green Bay Packers (Lambeau Field)

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  • Houston Texans (NRG Stadium)

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  • Indianapolis Colts (Lucas Oil Stadium)

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  • Jacksonville Jaguars (EverBank Field)

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  • Miami Dolphins (Hard Rock Stadium)

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  • Minnesota Vikings (U.S. Bank Stadium)

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  • New England Patriots (Gillette Stadium)

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  • New Orleans Saints (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)

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  • New York Giants and Jets (MetLife Stadium)

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  • Oakland Raiders (Oakland Coliseum)

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  • Philadelphia Eagles (Lincoln Financial Field)

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  • Pittsburgh Steelers (Heinz Field)

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  • San Francisco 49ers (Levi’s Stadium)

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  • Seattle Seahawks (CenturyLink Field)

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  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Raymond James Stadium)

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  • Tennessee Titans (Nissan Stadium)

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  • Washington Redskins (FedExField)

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  • NFL London Games (2017 Policy)

  • NFL Draft (2017 Policy)

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While this could change from location to location. This is another NFL rented location event, but it doesn’t follow the constraints of the stadium policies of the rented college stadiums. I would be sure to check this year to year to be sure the policy stays the same but this was the policy in 2017.

  • Super Bowl (2017 Policy)

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Another big NFL event. Actually the biggest event but it does not include any of the constraints the college stadiums do. Again I would suggest checking this year to year before attending. This is the 2017 policy they used.

There you have it. This is my overview of the stadium policies. While I do not agree with the three stadiums the NFL is renting. I also think as long as fanatics take off their masks at the security check entering the stadium they should be allowed to wear it in the stadium for any NFL event.

I hate that NFL fans have ran into security issues with locations that the NFL is renting. Which seems to be the main issue fans are having with security. The venue is not NFL owned so it is running different policies than your normal NFL events.

I just hope this helps clear the air, plan ahead, and avoid stadiums that their outfits would cause an issue where they spend their hard earned money to travel only to be turned away.

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3 thoughts on “Protecting The Costumed Super Fan | Guide For NFL Stadiums Policies

  1. I visited New Orleans Saints (Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints game prior to Houston being hit by Hurricane Harvey , I purchased a pair of seats about 5 th row to the field and was in full gear mask and all, I went through security with no problems at all, took several pictures with all fans plus I also know Saints fans who gear up totally as well , other of my Superfan friends whom also wear masks were not approached and I was not about to bring that point out and sink their spirits as mine were. I was first approached in the concessions area as I was taking photos with fans and was told not to wear my mask while I was walking , so si asked for further clarification and was told I could put it on for photos but just remove it as I was walking then once I was in my seat I could put it back on. I adhered to the request and would just put it on when I was asked for a photo, once I reached our seats I was approached by one of the ushers whom told me I could not wear my mask at all, I shared with her what I was told and that I had walked through security in full gear , she repeated herself again at which I requested a supervisor, a second usher came and I caught him up and he stated it was policy I asked if I could see it in writing he said he did not have it on him I advised I checked the website before planning my trip and buying my tickets and there was no notice of no masks allowed asked once more for a Supervisor and he went to go get one , once he arrived I provided him with the information and what was going on he as well stated it was policy and included if I put it on I would be thrown out, I requested a refund to which his response was That was between myself and the NFL as he would not be able to give me a refund. I was done speaking with him and took my mask off after about twenty minutes some of the photographers/ videographers that walk the field stopped pointed their camera on me and started waving at me and motioned for me to stand up , once I did , I had to put my mask on and was notified by friend that they showed me on TV , well as you can imagine what happened the ushers approached My with their last warning ⚠️ at which point I decided to leave before I let their actions ruin my trip so we left the game and enjoyed the City instead. The Saints fans were so kind to us as I had several of them approach me to ask if my Family in Houston was ok because of the hurricane and even asked if they could pray for me and mines. So awesome 👏🏼.

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