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.
For the safety of all guests and to make entering @CitiField more efficient, we have updated our bag policy, which will go into effect on Monday, May 20 and will prohibit backpacks at the ballpark.
Full Details: https://t.co/yvZxuBDsGo pic.twitter.com/vS6HY7pR1j
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 10, 2019
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.
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.
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!
Will you be using the money you make from your deal with the third-party locker rental company to sign Dallas Keuchel?
— Kevin J. Ryan (@wheresKR) May 10, 2019
Translation: We're cutting down on security costs. It's bad enough we pay for metal detectors. 🙄😡🗑️🤮 #SellTheTeam
— Sharklady 🦈 (@Sharklady57) May 10, 2019
Most sane adults who go to Mets games come straight from work, and carry laptops and other commuting gear with them in backpacks. Now what the hell are we supposed to do? Guess I'll never to go a weeknight game ever again.
— atanamar sunyata Ⓥ (@AtanamarSunyata) May 10, 2019
This is awful! There a number of games that I go directly from school and after school activities as a teacher. I do NOT have a car to leave my bag in. What am I to do for those games?!
— Mike Mehan (@mmehan82) May 10, 2019
Will my 4 year old who carries a toddler-sized bag with one pocket be forced to check his stuffed animal and snack in a “third party locker”?
— Maggie Wiggin (@maggie162) May 10, 2019
This is ridiculous. A backpack is what I use as a diaper bag for my little guy. You try carrying a toddler and a shoulder diaper bag at a ball park during a promotion night. Will you pay for my Chiropractor afterwards?
— June Shepard (@junebopeep) May 10, 2019
What if I stuff my backpack into a tote bag?
— Mess (@VLTEsq) May 10, 2019
The policy stinks, and so does the editing of your emails. pic.twitter.com/RLgksjFFUF
— Elliot Nicodemi (@bigell69) May 10, 2019
🎶Meet the Mets
Meet the Mets
Step right up and greet the Mets
Don't bring bookbags, don't bring jerks
And make sure that you're not coming from work
Because this policy is dropping the ball
Screwing your fans for no reason at all🎶
— I'mNotAHRHitter (@ImNotAHRHitter) May 10, 2019
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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