Although banned items vary depending on the stadium, most ban weapons, such as guns and knives. Many also ban items that are potentially dangerous or distracting to the athletes, including beach balls and fireworks.
Some larger stadiums, especially those affiliated with the National Football League, ban large bags or purses to help prevent contraband items. However, some allow larger bags made of clear vinyl or plastic to allow easy inspection. Most also ban cameras, audio recorders and laptops to stop people from recording games.
Laser pointers are also usually banned from sporting events, as fans may shine them in the athletes' or other fans' eyes. Outside food and drink are also usually banned to prevent messes and encourage concession sales.
Bulky items such as strollers are also usually banned to prevent blocked aisles. Mobility devices such as wheelchairs or walkers are not banned, but they may require the user to be seated in a special section.
Although most stadiums allow smaller signs, large signs or ones with offensive language are usually banned. Balloons are also not allowed in some stadiums.
Some stadiums may ban specific items that their fans use to taunt the opposing team or celebrate wins. For example, cowbells were once banned from Mississippi State University games because they were deemed too distracting. Some stadiums may also have restrictive dress codes due to gang violence in the area or other factors.