In response to concerns raised by local government authorities, the Cincinnati Bengals this afternoon announced that they would not require that fans submit to pat-downs this Sunday as mandated by the NFL. This means that everyone entering Paul Brown Stadium for the Bengals game this Sunday, October 2 versus the Houston Texans will NOT be subject to hand searches.
Bengals executive Troy Blackburn, stated "The Cincinnati Bengals will convene a meeting next week of NFL officials, local authorities and stadium management in an effort to find middle ground. The Cincinnati Bengals are committed to working with all parties to determine how best to comply with NFL mandates for a comprehensive stadium security plan."
Pat-downs of fans entering NFL stadiums have taken place on a frequent basis in recent years. Following discussion at a recent league meeting, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the NFL determined that these hand searches should be a required element of stadium security procedures at all NFL games.
NFL Commissioner Tagliabue had earlier stated that this new requirement is not a result of any specific threat information, but rather an effort to have the additional security for NFL fans at games that hand searches provide. Several NFL teams successfully used pat-downs as part of stadium security procedures last season. Hand searches of all fans entering stadiums also were employed during all NFL playoff games last season. Pat-downs at stadium gates have been part of the Super Bowl security plan since 2002.