Safety Policies

SY44 Items Permitted into Events Held in University Facilities

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Brian Bittner, 814-867-3430,

Policy Steward: 

Chief of University Police and Public Safety



This policy promotes safety at events held in University facilities through the control of items being brought into such facilities by preventing backpacks and large bags from entering venues.


The University reviews its public safety and security policies on an ongoing basis, looking for ways to improve them. The Department of University Police and Public Safety leads this review and obtains a wide range of information from other stakeholders to assist in doing so. These proactive measures are intended to enhance safety inside and outside University owned or operated venues, and to improve the overall experience at University events for both participants and attendees. Controlling the ingress of items entering University venues is a key component in achieving University safety goals.


This policy applies to all University locations and facilities owned or operated by the University.


Large Venues

Penn State University strongly encourages fans to not bring any type of bags to events, but fans will be able to carry the following style and size bag, package, or container into the below listed venues. Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12." The following venues

  • Beaver Stadium
  • The Bryce Jordan Center
  • Pegula Ice Arena
  • Medlar Field at Lubrano Park
  • Recreation Hall
  • All bags and patrons are subject to Metal Detection and/or Bag inspection upon entering the venue.
  • Those patrons without bags will be able to bypass the bag and article check stations at most gates.
  • Attendees are permitted to bring loose items, including:
    • Wristlet with or without a strap (no larger than 4" x 6" x 1")
    • Coat
    • Blanket
    • Seat cushion that can be rolled and that does not have pockets
    • iPad or other mobile devices
    • Camera (no camera bag) Unless prohibited by the venue/act.
    • Binoculars (no case or bag)
  • Babies may be brought into athletic venues in a soft baby carrier or a sling. Rigid frame baby and toddler carriers, as well as strollers, are not permitted.

    (All Athletics venues, other than Beaver Stadium, have discretion on the stroller prohibition)
  • No other bags are permitted, including:
    • Backpacks
    • Fanny packs
    • Purses
    • String bags
    • Diaper bags
    • Messenger bags
    • Camera bags
    • Brief cases
    • Roll bags
    • Binocular cases
    • Duffle bags
    • Any other bags
  • Backpacks are NOT permitted.

Prohibited Items Inside Venues

For all Penn State venues and events, the following items are prohibited.

  • Banners/Signs/Poster (except for pre-approved items in designated areas)
  • Bicycles (except for Police and EMS personnel)
  • Cameras larger than 8-1/2’x11”x11”
  • Containers, include cans/bottle/coolers/flasks
  • Drones/UAV’s
  • Face coverings, other than items that are used for medical or religious purposes.
  • Food
  • Knives or razor blades of any size, including folding blades or Swiss Army Knives
  • Noisemakers (whistles, sirens, etc.) except for Jeffrey Field during Penn State Soccer matches.
  • Objects that may become projectiles
  • Pets (except service animals/service animals in training to assist disabled guests)-Advanced notification is requested
  • Poles, sticks, selfie sticks (except canes to assist disabled guests)
  • Stadium chairs (chairs with backs) except those without pockets that can be rolled up
  • Strollers (Performing Arts and all Athletics venues, other than Beaver Stadium, have discretion on this prohibition)
  • Tripods
  • Umbrellas (Performing Arts and all Athletics venues, other than Beaver Stadium, have discretion on this prohibition)
  • Weapons, fireworks, laser pointers

All items brought into Penn State University venues are subject to inspection. There are no provisions for storing/checking prohibited items on-site. Items left unattended will be discarded and are unrecoverable.

All Venues

Penn State University hosts events and gatherings at many different locations and venues. Each are unique in makeup, size and scope. They are also unique in the performances and attendees that each bring to their venues.

As per this policy, all venues must have a Security Plan, that discusses how they would respond to a variety of emergencies and situations during any performance or event. For those venues not listed within the Large Venue guidelines, they will also include in their Security Plan, triggers, and methods for scaling their prohibited items procedure for events.

University Police and Public Safety reserve the right to request certain safety procedures, based on quantifiable needs for all events and venues.

Outdoor venues/events (such as Movin' On, 5K road races) will be considered on a case by case basis. Additional restrictions may be implemented at the discretion of the management in charge of the event.


Penn State University Police and Public Safety

  • Enforce applicable University policies and best security practices, as appropriate.
  • Provide guidance on policy implementation.
  • Work with facility management to establish and update rules and guidelines, when situationally appropriate.
  • Perform pre-event planning and assessment, as appropriate.
  • Provide police or security staff to support implementation of this policy at events.

Facility Manager

  • Inform staff of the rules of the venue, and their responsibilities as employees of the venue.

  • Coordinate pre-event planning and assessment with University Police and other entities, as appropriate.

  • Implement additional restrictions, as needed, in consultation with the applicable public safety authority.

  • The day of the event, comply and enforce the guidelines specified in this policy.

  • Provide staff who are properly trained to carry out the provisions of this policy at events on campus.


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Assistant Vice President, Police & Public Safety.


SY01 - Environmental Health and Safety Policy

AD65 - Electronic Security and Access Systems (formerly SY33)

AD68 - University Access Policy

AD70 - Emergency Management

AD78 - Threats to Campus Safety


Most Recent Changes:

  • June 8, 2023 - Updated police steward.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • October 20, 2022- Updated subject matter expert, policy steward, general information and policy specific to venues; corrected the title of the Associate Vice President of University Police and Public Safety.
  • September 22, 2015 - Changes were made in the POLICY section to better clarify details for clear plastic bags that are allowed to be brought into University facilities Where the venue holds more than 20,000 (such as Beaver Stadium). Additionally, restrictions were clarified in the section entitled When the venue holds more than 3,000 individuals and less than 20,000 individuals (such as the Bryce Jordan Center, Jeffrey Field, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, Recreation Hall and Pegula Ice Arena) (Plastic bag reference removed, as all types of bags are allowed/searched when entering these facilities, with the exception of backpacks, which are still not permitted).
  • October 22, 2014 - Changes in the POLICY section to clarify details for items allowed to be brought into University facilities for venues holding more than 3,000 individuals and less than 20,000 individuals.
  • September 9, 2014 - Changes to the PURPOSE, POLICY and ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES sections to clarify details and administration of the policy.
  • July 8, 2014 - New policy.