NEW YORK, NY(April 18, 2016) – Major League Soccer today announced elevated security standards that will be applied across all MLS stadiums to ensure a safe environment for soccer fans. Beginning this Saturday, April 23, a new minimum standard Bag Policy and guest screening measures will be instituted in all 20 MLS venues bringing MLS events in line with security measures taken by the other professional sports leagues in North America.
These security standards will apply to all MLS, SUM, and USL games played at MLS venues, including but not limited to MLS League and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games, friendly matches, and fan events.
Fans are encouraged to check venue-specific policies as the below are baseline security standards for MLS events. Individual venues may have additional restrictions on bags and other items entering the stadium.
“Public safety is a top priority and the enhanced security measures will ensure that fans are able to continue to enjoy MLS and SUM events in a safe environment,” said MLS president and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott.
“The safety of our fans, players and staff is paramount,” said Ray Whitworth, Senior VP of Security and Operations. “The updated security measures bring us in line with professional sports leagues around the United States and Canada while maintaining the unique sports experience that is MLS.”
Under the new security policy, all guests will be fully screened upon entry into MLS venues. The screenings will be conducted via a full pat down or with the use of a search wand or magnetometers. Each venue will decide which procedures and protocols will be used to provide this acceptable level of security while ensuring a quality experience for all guests.
Under the new league-wide Bag Policy, fans are prohibited from bringing the following into a stadium**:
Luggage of any kind
Any bag larger than 14’’x14’’x6’’
In addition, all bags will be subject to search upon entry. The bag restriction will not apply to credentialed media, who will continue to enter MLS stadiums through designated entrances and adhere to all posted media bag policies and screenings.
**Special considerations will be made for guests with special medical needs and parents caring for infants.
The increased security policy was unanimously supported by the MLS Board of Governors and involved input from all 20 MLS clubs.