First-night challenges for Wembley’s new bag policy

Wembley Stadium has defended its new bags policy after some fans faced long queues before and after England’s international friendly football match against the United States yesterday (Thursday) evening.

The game marked the first time that the policy had been activated by the famous London venue itself, rather than a visiting promoter or event organiser.

However, despite having announced as long ago as September that the new policy would come into force with last night’s match, an influx of fans carrying bags over the allowable size led to delays in entering and exiting the stadium for hundreds of spectators.

For all events at the stadium, visitors are now prohibited from bringing any bag into the venue that is larger than an A4 sheet of paper. Bags have to be checked at an outer cordon with a gauge used for any dispute on size, while all match-day merchandise purchases are now supplied in a clear plastic bag.

The Mirror and Sun newspapers reported that many ticket-holders were left angered by the length of the queues at the bag drop-off points, with some missing the kick off.

Fans also criticised the £5 (€5.60/$6.40) charge for the bag-drop service, while there were also numerous complaints on social media over the lengthy queues to retrieve bags post-match.

Responding to certain posts on Twitter, Wembley said that the new system had been widely advertised in the lead-up to the match, adding that proceeds from the bag-drop would be donated to charity.

Similar bag restrictions have been in place for the NFL International Series games at Wembley Stadium for a number of years, as directed by the American football league itself.

England won Thursday’s match 3-0 in front of a crowd of 68,155.

A full video detailing the new policy can be viewed below: