Photo of the center field gate at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals.

Image Credit: Mrgarethm - Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In an effort to enhance safety for baseball fans, the Washington Nationals announced earlier this week that they will be banning backpacks from Nationals Park in 2019. Most small bags like diaper bags, drawstring bags, and small coolers will still be welcome. Backpacks that measure even smaller than the traditionally banned 16 X 16 X 8 will not be allowed through the Nationals Park entry gates.

The announcement was not popular with Washington Nationals fans; many were happy to voice the opinions on the various social media platforms. The primary reason? Many baseball fans attend games immediately after work and take public transportation to Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals introduced metal detectors at Nationals Park during the 2015 MLB season. The St. Louis Cardinals were one of the first Major League Baseball teams to ban backpacks when they did so in 2017. NFL stadiums will only allow fans to bring bags that are see-through.

Exceptions to the backpack ban can be made by Washington Nationals season ticket holders upon request or by regular fans with medical conditions. The new rule will go into effect on March 25, 2019 when the Nationals host the New York Yankees for an exhibition game. Fans are still welcome to bring water bottles, food purchased outside of Nationals Park, and soft-sided coolers into the game.


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