NCAA Final Four to Hand Out 200K Clear Bags in Continued Crackdown on Opaque Carryalls
Though the usual suspects have attained placement in the Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball rankings, most observers would likely stray from christening any club as the overwhelming favorite to cut down the nets come April 2. Yes, next weekend’s slate of major conference championships will somewhat thin the herd, but anyone could pull off an upset (or two) and throw the NCAA Division I Tournament—not to mention thousands of brackets—into disarray. While no apparent conqueror has emerged, one element of the Final Four has attained transparency, literally, as the San Antonio Organizing Committee declared Monday that all affiliated events, including the title tilt, will adhere to a clear bag policy, with see-through holders going to the gatherings’ attendees.
The Alamodome, celebrating its 25th anniversary as a multipurpose destination, is hosting the culmination of March Madness and will serve as the centerpiece location for what could pump as much as $135 million into the local economy. With so much at stake in striving to bolster the Texas City’s financial standing, overseers are furthering a June 10, 2017-issued set of restrictions on bags entering the space, but instead of leaving it up to hoops fans—most of whom will be out-of-towners—to bring their own carriers, the bigwigs—thanks to Coca-Cola—will distribute 200,000 clear carryalls to the revelers, with a variety of public spots serving as the distribution sites.
“The clear bag reduces the likelihood of faulty bag searches and continues our commitment to the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign,” the arena’s general manager, Nicholas Langella, said last year of implementing the restrictions to cement his employer’s commitment to ensuring public safety.
Through the three hoops matchups, Final Four Fan Fest, March Madness Music Festival, Reese’s Final Four Friday, Final Four Dribble and other occasions, fans can not only lend support to the contention that everything is bigger in Texas but can also do so with added peace of mind courtesy of the clear bags’ presence. Akin to the stance that the National Football League has on what should enter its collection of playing fields—a mindset that indirectly inspired a brilliant promotional products idea—the San Antonio-situated policy recognizes that thousands of citizens are placing their trust in organizers when they attend sporting events, and since our current culture has led many ticket purchasers to worry about their welfare, promoters and their peers must enact measures that make all spectators focus only on what they are watching.
From a society standpoint, then, the clear bags are great moves, and from a branding angle, they are also hits, especially since they will bear on them the name of the host city, which is celebrating the 300th anniversary of its founding as a colonial outpost and Spanish mission. As February prepares to let March come in like a lion, it will be interesting to see which teams acquaint themselves with being in the ascendancy (could a couple squads please knock out Duke and North Carolina early on?) and how San Antonio comes to market itself through the bags. It’s clear to us that the powers that be will have plenty of chances to make their city shine.