In an effort to get fans back in the stadium during halftime, "The Zone" will close 10 minutes before the start of the third quarter.

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Thirty-three days before the Huskies’ season opener against Rutgers, the Washington athletic department on Monday announced two notable changes to game-day policies at Husky Stadium.

First, fans will only be allowed to bring into the stadium clear bags, a change UW hopes will improve safety.

From the new policy: “Approved bags include clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bags that do not exceed 12-inches by 6-inches by 12-inches; one-gallon clear, resealable plastic storage bags; small clutch bags no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” (approximately the size of a hand) with or without a handle or strap. Prohibited bags include but are not limited to purses, backpacks, diaper bags, binocular cases, camera cases, fanny packs, luggage, seat cushions with a zipper, any bag larger than the permissible size, and any bag that is not clear.”

Second, “The Zone” tailgating spot located behind the east end zone will now be closing 10 minutes before the start of the third quarter. In the past, many have complained that those fans who go to The Zone (or elsewhere) during halftime are slow to return to their seats in the third quarter.

From the sounds of it, The Zone could perhaps be closed entirely if the new changes don’t hasten fans’ return to their seats.

“The Zone is something we are watching very, very closely,” UW athletic director Jennifer Cohen said. “Husky Stadium is one of the most exciting home-field environments in the Pac-12 and NCAA, and we need to be at full-strength for the second half, which means bringing fans back from The Zone and also from surrounding parking lots and boat moorage spaces. The contractors who run The Zone have assured me that they are instituting changes this year that will clear The Zone with ample time for fans to return to their seats by the start of the third quarter. The best-case scenario for all is that we are able to continue to provide a terrific fan experience in The Zone pregame, and we create a framework for fans to return by the third quarter. However, if we have not achieved that mark after this season, we will re-evaluate and have no hesitation to make any changes necessary moving forward.”

The stadium policy changes were announced Monday along with UW’s launch of a new marketing campaign, “Let Purple Reign Again.” As part of that, UW noted that the team will be one of just two teams in the NCAA to use the VICIS helmets this season; the Huskies’ helmets will be gold.

Also, the “Off-Leash” beer garden deck that UW introduced in 2014 is now open to all fans. A second beer garden will also be opened in the southeast corner concourse above section 101.