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People Aren't Thrilled About The Staples Center's New Rules

Photo shows Staples center exterior
The exterior of the Staples Center.
(David Vives
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We're days away from Staples Center reopening to a limited number of basketball, hockey and music fans — but it won't be like it used to be. The venue has introduced a host of new rules.

Some were enacted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but many of the changes were coming with or without a pandemic.

Staples Center is now becoming a completely cash-free venue. You'll have to buy parking in advance, then once you're at the gate, you'll flash a code on your phone. Your ticket will be on your phone. You'll order food and drinks on your phone and receive a text when it's time to pick up your order at the concession stand.

All of that is the future of arena events, anyway. Then there are the pandemic practices.

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Face masks for everyone. Social distancing inside the arena. Hand sanitizer everywhere. You'll also need to prove you've passed a recent COVID-19 test or you're fully vaccinated, so keep your vaccination card handy.

Perhaps the most controversial new rule is the ban on bags, backpacks and purses, even clear plastic ones. The Staples Center initially said none of these items would be allowed in and patrons could only bring in items that fit in their pocket. The venue detailed the new rules in a series of tweets and the replies were not positive.

People with disabilities were especially unhappy, with one replying, "Can't wait to have to contact guest services about my diabetes supplies EVERY time I want to go to a game. Your policy is not inclusive and will drive people away. Do better, it's 2021. Consult other people that can help you fix this."

You can see the full list of rules for Staples Center here.

Representatives from the Staples Center later clarified that parental bags and medical bags would be permitted but they would first have to go through an X-ray machine.

"If you're bringing a diaper or medical bag, you don't need to register it ahead of time or make it transparent, just tell them what it's for at the gate, and staff will send it through an X-Ray machine. But big bags [14 by 14 by 6 inches] will need to stay in a rental locker outside Staples," says Staples Center spokesperson Cara Vanderhook.

She says the goal of the new regulations is to keep the check-in contact free, a decision that was based on input from the NBA, NHL, L.A. County and state officialls. Vanderhook says she expects the policy to change eventually.