SBD/June 26, 2013/Facilities

NFL Revises Seat Cushion Ban For Bills, Packers Fans Who Endure Metal Bleachers

The NFL said that fans in Buffalo and Green Bay, who "must contend with many metal bleacher-type seats and tough winter weather, will be allowed to bring in Styrofoam seating pads and portable seat backs, as long as neither has covers or pockets," according to Gene Warner of the BUFFALO NEWS. NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said, "The traditional seat cushions still won’t be permitted." Warner notes it is an issue that has "brought surprisingly little outcry in Buffalo or around the league, perhaps because the reference to seat cushions was buried in the league policy." Fans have suggested "several options, including offering seat cushions for rental inside the stadium, attaching a cushion to each season-ticket holder’s seat or even allowing much smaller cushions." However, the Bills are "waiting to hear more from the league and plan to share many of the new guidelines with fans as the preseason opener approaches." Bills VP/Event Operations & Guest Experience Andy Major said, "They understand the bag policy, and they understand the public-safety aspect, but they’re expressing some concerns about the cushions. We’re very open to all ideas and suggestions on improving the fans’ experience. It’s part of our normal routine" (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/26). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Don Muret notes the Lambeau Field, which opened in '57, is an exception to the policy in part because it "has 66,000 hard metal bench seats." McCarthy said, "We spoke to the Packers about that item. It will be permitted due to the special circumstances with bleacher seating." Packers fans for about 10 years have been "able to rent seatbacks they can attach to bench seats." Packers PR Dir Aaron Popkey said that the 7,000 seatbacks "sell for $6 a unit, and most are rented for every home game" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/24 issue).

IN THE CLEAR: The Chiefs yesterday announced they will provide season-ticket holders with free clear plastic bags that are in compliance with the NFL's new stadium bag policy. Each season-ticket holder will receive one complimentary bag. For season-ticket holders with more than four seats, the team will provide one free bag for every four seats on the account. Each bag is branded with a Chiefs logo (Chiefs).
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