The Mets are banning backpacks at Citi Field and fans are not happy about it

Yahoo Sports

Less than two months after the Washington Nationals banned backpacks from their ballpark, the New York Mets are following suit. The Mets announced on Friday that starting May 20, backpacks would no longer be allowed in Citi Field.

The team website specified that small coolers, tote bags, and diaper bags would still be allowed. But anyone will a backpack will be turned away, or will have to pay for a locker to store their backpack while they’re in the stadium.

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This inconveniences a lot of fans. If you carry a backpack to work and want to go to a game right from your job? Now you can’t without stopping at home or paying more money (on top of your ticket and food) to rent a storage locker. And while diaper bags are allowed, many families choose to use backpacks to carry all the necessary things you need to take small children on a trip outside the home.

Fans will no longer be able to carry backpacks into Citi Field to watch Mets games. (AP)
Fans will no longer be able to carry backpacks into Citi Field to watch Mets games. (AP)

Just like when the Nationals announced their policy, the Mets gave no specific, concrete reason for the change beyond “for the safety of all guests and to make entering Citi Field more efficient.” Since they’re instituting a change that’s going to make it harder for many people to go to games at Citi Field, you might imagine that they’d give specific details about how many people usually carry backpacks to the ballpark and how many minutes the policy will shave off of security line waiting times.

But the Mets didn’t answer any of those questions. And Mets fans reacted the same way Nationals fans did when their team announced the Nationals Park backpack ban: with righteous anger and mocking!

There’s a common thread in all these angry comments: this policy is pushing away fans. People who want to go to a game from work on a weeknight, families who have put money aside to take their kids to a game on a Saturday afternoon, they’re all being made to feel unwelcome. With MLB attendance plummeting, policies like this won’t help get fans back to the ballpark. Especially when it feels like the Mets aren’t being totally up front with fans about why they’re banning backpacks to begin with.

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