NEW YORK - Following a pre-season filled with confusion and adverse fan reaction to the most recent bag restrictions, the National Football League today announced a more streamlined security policy.
Effective immediately, the NFL has decided to ban fans from the stadium entirely.
At each NFL stadium, temporary seating will be erected in adjacent parking lots and the games will be shown on a series of large, HD-quality screens that will ring the facility. Ticket holders will still be subject to a full cavity search before taking their seats and a more relaxed bag policy will be in effect.
“Fans will still get that in-game experience that makes the National Football League the greatest sports entertainment value in the nation while watching the world’s finest athletes in pulsating action,” assured a spokesman for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Though there may be some initial concerns over seat locations in front of the television monitors, we are confident that this new policy will strike a fair balance between the need for increasing security and the safety and comfort of our fans.”
Goodell himself was unavailable for comment as he was meeting his counterpart, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, as well as one of the newest NHL owners. Goodell was reportedly interested in the NHL’s controversial policy of stringing nets in front of the seating area, while Bettman and the unnamed NHL owner were considering implementing a version of the NFL’s security measures at their games.
“The two leagues share a similar commitment to their fans,” said Goodell’s spokesman.
Critics charge that this is just another sign of how the NFL has lost touch with its customers and has become arrogant, a charge vehemently denied by the league.
“These measures are an unfortunate fact of life in the world today, but I can assure you that the needs of our customers are paramount,” said one NFL owner, who wished to remain anonymous. “To suggest that we are an arrogant organization is absolute nonsense. Why, I can tell you that one of our staffers personally called someone on our season ticket waiting list who declined to the opportunity to move up in line by licking my boots clean. His concerns were addressed with the utmost amount of care.”
Others suggest that the NFL’s security policies are motivated only by concession revenues.
“All because I didn’t buy that extra over-priced beer. What a bunch of (expletive),” said a New York Giants’ season ticket holder, who wished to be identified only as “Jimmy.” “I can barely put food on my table and these rich guys just want to use terrorism an excuse for shaking me down. My buddy needed a prostate exam and I told him that he should just buy a ticket to an NFL game and he would get one for free. If he wanted the deluxe version, just stick a can of Coke in his shorts. Then, they’d really give it to him.”
Goodell’s spokesman offered little relief for fans.
“All I can say is that we will be monitoring the implementation of this new policy in Week 1 and that any unresolved issues will be discussed at the league’s next owners’ meeting.”
The regular season opens this coming Thursday in Denver as the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens take on the hometown Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.