By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
To provide for the convenience and safety of spectators attending the Michigan High School Athletic Association 11-Player Football Finals – presented by the Michigan National Guard – at Ford Field in Detroit, Nov. 24 and 25, attendees are being advised of a variety of items related to transportation and security – including policies regulating types of bags allowed into the stadium.
Parking will be available in Ford Field facilities and lots to the east and north of the stadium and costs $6. A map identifying the designated Ford Field lots (4, 5 and 6) and parking deck can be found on the Football page of the MHSAA Website at http://www.mhsaa.com/sports/football. (There also are a number of privately-operated parking facilities close to Ford Field, but their pricing may differ.)
Fans also are advised that the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Ford Field parking facilities and lots. Tailgating, including the setting up and use of grilling equipment, is allowed only in Lot 5.
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 must be paid for in cash only.
Tickets are priced at $10 and 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. Infants able to be held in arms 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 West Bloomfield, Warren DeLaSalle, Muskegon, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Saginaw Swan Valley, Ithaca, Pewamo-Westphalia and Saginaw Nouvel. 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 metal detector screening, 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. Spectators should remove cell phones, cameras, keys and other large metal objects before passing through the metal detectors, but do not need to remove belts, coins, wallets or watches and other jewelry.
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, cinch bags, grocery & paper bags, duffle bags, luggage of any kind, computer and camera bags and large camera cases.
• 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.)
• Banners or large flags
• Cameras with lenses longer than five inches. Selfie Sticks also are prohibited.
• Decals, stickers, confetti or glitter
• Drones and/or remote controlled aircraft.
• Electronic equipment including laptop computers, video recorders (hand-held video cameras are allowed), tripods and wearable video cameras including Go Pros.
• 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
• Umbrellas (large size)
• Wrapped gifts
The following items will be permitted after inspection:
• Small bags, purses and fanny packs that do not exceed 8½ inches by 14 inches by 10 inches. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
• Diaper bags (only if accompanied by a child)
• Binoculars and binoculars cases
• Cameras and small camera cases (lenses may not measure longer than five inches, and no tripods or extension cords)
• Small radios (no larger than the size of a football and used with an earpiece)
• Small, compact umbrellas (must be placed securely under seat)
• Posters and signs without poles or sticks, or larger than what one person can hold.
The complete list of prohibited items can be found on the Ford Field Web site – http://www.fordfield.com – at the bottom of the web page under Stadium Info, Ford Field Event Policies. 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.