UK football fans adapt to new regulations at stadium

ctruman@herald-leader.comSeptember 7, 2013 

Debbie Morgan carried the most popular accessory in town for the University of Kentucky's first home football game of the season on Saturday: the mini-purse that fits with UK's new security rules for spectators in Commonwealth Stadium.

She bought the mini-bag, quilted and blue, at the former Dawahare's and found that it came in handy with the new bag size regulations announced Friday.

UK police chief Joe Monroe said fans attending home games this season should expect to have all items searched as they enter the stadium.

Fans can bring one small bag no larger than 13.5 inches by 10 inches by 7 inches into the stadium; bags must fit into sizing bins available at all stadium entrances. Backpacks are not permitted.

The rule changes came after the Boston Marathon bombings in April that killed three and injured 264. The bombs were carried in backpacks.

UK fans on Saturday got creative with their mini-bags.

One woman carried a hollowed-out UK blue-and-white football as a purse; another had a flat miniature UK blue basketball.

Debbie Morgan's sister-in-law Dara Morgan of Carlisle said she was in favor of the new regulations.

"Because of a few bad people, this overflows to other people," she said while tailgating near the Kentucky Educational Television building on Cooper Drive.

But Joe McClure, who was attending a student tailgate party at a house on Cooper Drive, described the new rules as "an annoyance."

Tom Kelly of Lexington said he has been tailgating for more than 25 years, and he said he think the new rules are sensible.

"Why subject ourselves to people who want to cause these problems?" he said. "These people need to be kept from coming into the games. If they don't want to be subjected to the rules and laws, they should stay at home."

Beverly Ragland said that she's not big on purses anyway — she and her friends have a more practical list of items to carry: binoculars, a radio and padded seat cushions.

While ticket-takers measured seat cushions and plopped purses into sizing bins on admission, one young woman was admitted while carrying a long loose canvas purse.

Because it carried few items, it compressed neatly into the bin.

Cheryl Truman: (859)231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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