By now you may have heard about the new bag policy at the Swamp (now known as Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium). These new policies are not exactly conducive to “growing those little Gators” and will make it harder on parents as they figure out how to bring all the essentials needed for young Gator fans.
We had plans to bring the baby with us to one of the non-SEC games- the first time we would be a Gator family of four in the Swamp. I doubt we will now, unless there is a late afternoon game. For daytime games, the hats, the sunscreen, the food, the bibs, the teether, the diapers, the wipes, the changing pad (because UF STILL DOES NOT HAVE CHANGING TABLES IN ALL BATHROOMS!)— it’s just too much without a diaper bag. I rely on my diaper bag backpack to keep my hands free to hold on to my toddler as well as manage the baby. I am sad this policy will deter many proud Gator parents from attending games with their little ones. And for those grumbling that kids shouldn’t be there anyways, we are mindful of what games/crowds we take them to, time of day, and where we are sitting.
Here’s a roundup of your options as parents:
Each PERSON can bring one (1) large clear plastic bag – either a one-gallon plastic storage bag or an 12″x6″x12″ clear plastic bag – plus one small clutch. So your spouse/partner could carry in the diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes in one bag, while you could do snacks, bottles, sunscreen etc in the other in addition to that small clutch.
- Also, take advantage of other friends/family sitting with you. I suppose it’s time to ask my brother-in-law if he can carry in Lily’s Frozen wallet with spending money and juice box in his shorts?!
- Items such as cameras and smart phones can just be carried in. To save room in your bags, place wallets, keys, makeup etc inside your pockets, around your neck, etc. — Time for the hubby to utilize those cargo shorts to the max!!!
- The policy says nothing about baby carriers (i.e. Ergobaby) so bring that and stick baby’s teether/small toy in the zipper pocket or command hook them to the carrier.
- Florida Milk will be at the Fan Fest at the first game vs UMass handing out clear bags that meet the guidelines.
- Ilene’s for Fashion in Thornebrook has some options in stock as well including zippered bags and totes.
- If you are a season ticket holder, UF will send you a clear bag for free. Just log in to your account and receive your Booster gift.
- Seatbacks are also not permissible anymore. I am also saddened about this as it was helpful for our toddler to lean on something, and I know many seniors rely on that extra support.
Here’s hoping UF will change its policies to allow some leeway when it comes to bringing young children to games (on that note, why does a lap sitting infant need a ticket?)! With the decline of Gator Growl and now these policies that impact those with young children, this Gator Family is frustrated with the changes, but in all kinds of weather, we’ll all stick together.