MHSAA football: Security tight at Ford Field for state championship, many items prohibited

DETROIT – Fans of the Ishpeming High School football team who attend Saturday’s state championship game should keep in mind there are a number of security regulations in place at Ford Field in Detroit.

Some of the rules have changed since the Hematites played in last year’s title game, in line with how the National Football League tightened security for its contests during the last offseason as a response to potential threats of violence.

Rules that fans should particularly note include tighter restrictions on the kinds of bags that are allowed in the stadium, according to the MHSAA.

The types of containers not allowed are any purses larger than a clutch bag, along with all coolers, briefcases, backpacks, diaper bags, fanny packs, cinch bags, grocery and paper bags, duffle bags, any kind of luggage, computer bags, and camera and binocular bags and cases.

What is OK to bring in are bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and aren’t larger than 12-by-6-by-12-inches; one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags such as Ziploc; and small clutch bags up to the approximate size of a hand, either with or without a handle or strap. An exception can also be made to allow medically necessary items after an inspection.

Some other items banned at Ford Field that fans often bring to other venues include banners; seat cushions; umbrellas; strollers; infant car seats and carriers; cameras with lenses longer than five inches; and noisemaking devices such as bells, horns, kazoos and whistles.

Electronic items OK to bring in include hand-held video cameras, small radios that use an earpiece and binoculars without a case, but among the items banned are tripods, large video recorders, large video cameras and laptop computers.

Here are some of the other more common items that are also banned, with the MHSAA stating that this isn’t an all-inclusive list – aerosol cans, balloons, balls, confetti, decals and stickers, food, beverages, other liquids, permanent markers and paint.

Regardless of what is or isn’t brought in, everyone is subject to a visual search with Ford Field personnel reserving the right to request patrons open their coats and bags and deny entrance to those who refuse to cooperate. Prohibited items discovered at entrances will not be held for pickup and must be returned to the owner’s vehicle or discarded.

Several websites have more information – for allowable containers, visit