By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
To provide for the convenience and safety of spectators attending the Michigan High School Athletic Association Football Finals at Ford Field in Detroit, Nov. 29 and 30, attendees are being advised of a variety of items related to transportation and security – including new policies regulating types of bags that are allowed into the stadium.
In cooperation with Olympia Entertainment, more than 2,000 parking spaces will be available in close proximity to Ford Field and Comerica Park to the west, east and north of the ball parks. These parking lots will be clearly marked with Olympia Entertainment signs and will be charging $6. A map identifying the designated Olympia Entertainment lots can be found on the Football page of the MHSAA Website
. (There also are a number of privately-operated parking facilities close to Ford Field, but their pricing may differ.)
Fans also are advised that tailgating, including the setting up and use of grilling equipment, and the consumption of alcohol, is prohibited by City of Detroit ordinances.
Gates A, B and G will be available for public entrance during the event. Ticket sales will begin near Gates A and G at 8 a.m. each day, and the building will open its doors to spectators at 9 a.m.
Tickets are priced at $10 and will allow a fan to see all four games in a single day. Spectators leaving the stadium will be required to purchase another ticket for re-entry. Children under the age of 2 will be admitted without charge for this event. There will not be a public Will Call window.
Upon arrival in the building, fans will find their designated seating areas on the South side of the field if their team is the designated home team for their contest and on the North side for the designated visiting team. Home teams this weekend are Clarkston, Muskegon, Zeeland West, Grand Rapids South Christian, Menominee, Ithaca, Ishpeming and Beal City. Brightly lit video boards above the seating areas will display the names of the participating teams each day, and fans should sit on the side of the stadium where they see their school’s name. For general fans, the entire lower bowl of Ford Field will be open for the event.
Security measures also will be in place to help assure spectator safety. Fans will be subject to a visual search, and Ford Field personnel reserve the right to request patrons open their coats, bags and other item-carrying vessels for visual inspection and deny entrance to individuals who do not cooperate. The NFL this season has enhanced its safety policy to further monitor what type of bags may be brought into stadiums. Those additions are noted in bold below.
Items which fans will be prohibited from bringing into the building include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, diaper bags, fanny packs, cinch bags, grocery & paper bags, duffle bags, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera & binocular bags or cases. Visit www.nfl.com/allclear for additional details.
- Aerosol cans (hairspray, mace, pepper spray, etc.)
- Animals (except service animals to aid guests with disabilities)
- Balloons (air or helium)
- Balls (beach balls, footballs, etc.)
- Cameras with lenses longer than five inches
- Decals, stickers, confetti or flitter
- Electronic equipment including laptop computers, large video recorders and video cameras, and tripods (hand-held video cameras are allowed)
- Food, beverages or liquids (cans, bottles, boxes, flasks, etc.)
- Illegal substances
- Knives, pocket knives, box cutters, scissors, etc.
- Laser pointers
- Markers (permanent) and/or paint
- Noisemaking devices (bells, horns, kazoos, whistles, etc.)
- Objects that can be used as missiles or projectiles (sticks, bats, clubs, Frisbees, etc.)
- Seat cushions
- Strollers and infant car seats or carriers
The following items will be permitted after inspection:
- Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc bag or similar)
- Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap. For details, visit www.nfl.com/allclear. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
- Small radios (no larger than the size of a football and used with an earpiece).
- Small hand-held video cameras (but no tripods or extension cords).
- Binoculars (but no cases).
The complete list of prohibited items can be found on the Ford Field Website under Policies & Info. Prohibited items that are discovered during security inspections at stadium entrances must either be returned to the owner's vehicle or discarded. Items will not be held for later pickup.
Fans are reminded that all image taking (still and video) may be only for personal, non-commercial use.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.