Its been more than nine months since the Panthers played a regular season football game, but new security measures put in place after the Boston Marathon bombings may have fans waiting a few extra minutes to get into Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers implemented the changes for the first two preseason games, but the security measures will face their biggest test as crowds swell for the regular season. The Panthers take on the Seattle Seahawks at 1 p.m. Sunday.
All has gone well during the first two preseason games, and it has been good preparation for this weekend, Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said.
The new rules are intended to protect fans and speed up security lines. Sporting events across the world have tweaked security measures since two suspects carried homemade to the finish line of the Boston Marathon in backpacks.
Now at Bank of America Stadium, most bags are banned. Still permissible are small purses and small clear bags. Covered seat cushions with compartments or zippers are also prohibited.
Under the new rules, clear plastic or clear vinyl bags are allowed only if they are no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Sealable plastic bags are OK, as are foam seat pads without zippers, clasps or compartments.
The only other bag Panthers security will allow is a small purse no larger than a fans hand, 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. Exceptions will be made for medical reasons.
Anticipating delays, the Panthers have doubled the number of screening points and moved them closer to the street.
Fans and everyone else in the uptown area can expect the usual game day traffic delays. Things get congested in the blocks near the stadium at Mint and Graham streets about an hour before the game starts. The streets clog again when the game ends around 4 p.m.
Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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