New rules governing what fans can and can’t bring into Rock Hill stadiums for events go into effect Friday night.
The rules, which were announced last week amid police concerns that students have been sneaking alcoholic beverages into high school football games, state that no backpacks or outside food or beverages can be brought into District Three Stadium or District Three South Stadium.
By banning outside food and beverages, the rules at Rock Hill stadiums now match those in place at stadiums in Clover, Fort Mill and York. Rock Hill is the only York County school district that will have a backpack ban.
On Friday night, Northwestern plays South Pointe at District Three Stadium.
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Anyone who arrives at the stadiums with an outside food or beverage will be asked to consume it before entering the gate, according to the guidelines, which were approved last week by the high schools’ athletic directors, principals and the school district’s associate superintendent, Luanne Kokolis.
Concessions will be available inside the stadiums.
Anyone arriving at the gate with a backpack will be asked to put it in a vehicle before entering the stadium. If that isn’t possible, the person can open the bag to show the contents to the gate attendant and be advised of the rule. That person will not be allowed to bring in a bag at another event.
The rule notes that “ladies’ purses, adults with seat cushions/blanket holders, diaper bags, medications, or food needed for those with medical conditions” are exempt from this policy.
The ban came about after a request from the Rock Hill Police Department after concerns that students are sneaking alcohol into football games by adding alcohol to regular beverage bottles and hiding the bottles in backpacks.
Rock Hill Police spokesman Mark Bollinger has said, “There hasn’t been a rash of incidents or a spike in arrests for issues like this, but officers who patrol the stadiums during games are trying to be proactive.”
The district has tried to communicate with fans about the ban through announcements at the schools, all-calls to parents and students, and signage at the stadiums.