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Nationals Park rolls out new policy banning backpacks

Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

WASHINGTON — If you’re planning on heading to a Nationals game this spring, beware: Nationals Park is banning backpacks.

The change, which the team said was made to “enhance ballpark safety,” goes into effect starting with the Nationals’ exhibition game March 25.

Smaller bags, such as briefcases, drawstring bags, diaper bags and soft-sided coolers are generally OK, but under the new policy, bags cannot exceed 16 inches long by 16 inches wide by 8 inches deep.

“The safety of our fans, staff and players at Nationals Park is always a top priority,” said Scott Fear, the vice president of public safety and security for the Washington Nationals, in a news release. “… We understand the implementation of these procedures will take some time for our fans to get used to, but our organization is dedicated to making Nationals Park the safest environment possible for everyone in attendance.”

Exceptions to the ban will be made for backpack diaper bags and backpacks that are used for medical reasons or allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Fans without season plans can request an exception at the family/ADA lines, which are at the center field gate (the closest lanes to the main box office) or the home plate gate. Exceptions can also be requested by season plan holders at any season plan holder gate.

See more details on bag policy on the Nationals’ website.

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