Last updated on November 13th, 2023 at 07:18 pm
Highmark Stadium (previously New Era Field, Bills Stadium, and Ralph Wilson Stadium) is home to the Buffalo Bills NFL team at 1 Bills Dr, Orchard Park, New York, 14127. Highmark Stadium has a clear bag policy that allows fans to bring in a clear, vinyl, or PVC bag that does not exceed 12” x 6” x12” into the venue on game day. Bills fans can also bring small clutch bags and wristlets that don’t exceed 4.5” x 6.5” into the arena. In my experience, the staff is pretty flexible with the clear bag rule, so as long as the bag itself is not too big and contains no prohibited items you won’t have a problem at the gate.
Here is the complete Highmark Stadium Bag Policy for your next event. I also share my bag recommendation on what to bring to the game. Finally, there is an affiliate link to Amazon on this page.
Highmark Stadium, like other NFL venues, has a strict clear bag policy. Therefore, if you want to bring a bag into the venue for a game, make sure it is clear. Below are the acceptable bags that can enter the venue for a match.
- A clear plastic freezer bag one gallon or less
- A clear single-compartment tote bag no larger than 12” x 6” x 12”
- Any ADA-specific bag
- Medical bags and Diaper bags
- A clear fanny pack
- Seat cushions that don’t exceed 15” x 15” and don’t have zippers or pockets
- Small clutch bags, wallets, and similar types of bags that are no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”
My Clear Bag Recommendation + Experience
I went to Highmark Stadium for a Bills game in December 2022. While I didn’t bring my clear fanny pack to the game, I saw many fans with clear bags with them. Those fans did not have any problems getting a clear bag through the bag check process at the gate. However, I did witness a few fans get turned away at the gate for having a traditional backpack with them. From my experience going to football venues with my clear fanny pack, I’ve never had a problem getting that through the bag check process.
Below is a video of me explaining why I recommend bringing a clear fanny pack to games. The fanny pack I bring to the games is 11″ x 6.5″ x 5.9″, so it is below the size limit for almost every venue.
How Does the Highmark Stadium Security Team Review Bags?
Fans arriving at Highmark Stadium for a Buffalo Bills game or another event will undergo a metal detector screening at the entrance gate. Fans with a bag will have that inspected by the security staff at the entrance. The bag inspection reviews the size of the bag to see if it is clear and if it contains any prohibited items. As a reminder, Highmark Stadium has a clear bag policy in place, but there are minor exceptions to the rule, like if you need to bring a medical or diaper bag into the venue.
What are the Prohibited Items that Fans Can’t Bring into Highmark Stadium?
Fans coming to Highmark Stadium for a game or concert should understand that certain items can’t enter the venue with them. Some things the stadium staff won’t allow inside the arena are below. Be sure to visit the official prohibited items list of the stadium to get the most up-to-date information on the items that can’t come into the arena.
- Non-clear bags. However, the exception to this rule is if you need to bring in medical bags or diaper bags. The stadium staff does encourage you to bring in a clear bag if you can. Bringing in a clear bag makes the review process faster at the gate.
- Tobacco products
- Animals (Non-service animals are ok)
- Clear bags larger than 12” x 6” x 12”
- Alcoholic beverages
- Weapons of any kind
- Video cameras
Is There a Bag Check or Locker Storage Area at Highmark Stadium?
In my experience, I didn’t see any official bag locker storage area for fans to use at Highmark Stadium if their bag can’t come into the stadium. If you try to bring a bag into the venue that the security personnel won’t allow, you must bring it back to your car and leave it there.
If you plan to partake in tailgating in the parking lots with Bills Mafia, you should leave all those bags in your car before walking to the stadium. Traditional backpacks and coolers can’t come into the stadium, so plan to leave all of those behind in a car.
Finally, it is worth noting that there are no hotels or restaurants within walking distance of the venue to see if they can watch your stuff. Orchard Park is not in downtown Buffalo, which may surprise visitors heading to the venue for the first time. The area is very rural and residential, so there are no places you can visit to see if they can watch your bag for you while you are at the game.
Additional Helpful Links
Visit the Highmark Stadium parking guide for tips on where to park.
Visit the Highmark Stadium Food Guide to see what you can eat at the venue.
Conclusion: The Bag Policy
In my experience, you won’t have any issue bringing a clear bag into the stadium for a game. The same goes with bringing a small clutch purse or something similar to that. The problem that people run into at the gate is if they have prohibited items that can’t enter the stadium / have a non-clear bag, like a backpack.
Otherwise, if you need to bring a bag to the stadium, make sure it is clear.
Greg Kristan, owner of The Stadium Reviews, LLC and TM Blast, LLC, brings his extensive experience visiting over half of the MLB ballparks, along with numerous MLS, NHL, NBA, and NFL venues, to provide in-depth coverage on the bag policy, food options, and parking. He has also been interviewed about his experiences on several sports podcasts.