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NFL announces controversial new stadium bag policy

Fans will be limited in the items and containers they can bring into 2013 NFL games. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) Spectators will be limited in the items and containers brought into 2013 NFL games. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

The NFL is instituting a new policy that prohibits spectators from bringing purses and similar bags into the league's stadiums.

The policy is designed to enhance safety and minimize the time spent inspecting items at the gate following a recommendation of the Stadium Security and Fan Conduct Committee.

According to a league release:

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size," the statement reads.

Beginning with the 2013 preseason, the new rules will also include:

  • Bags must be clear and made of plastic, vinyl, or PVC, with dimensions not exceeding 12 inches by six inches by 12 inches.
  • Fans are limited to one bag per person.
  • Spectators may not bring in backpacks, fanny packs, seat cushions or coolers.
  • Small "clutch" bags will be allowed.
  • Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after they've been inspected at a gate designated for this purpose.

"Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment," said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer. "Public safety is our top priority. This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective. We will be able to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment. We appreciate our fans' cooperation."

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Media members quickly questioned and criticized the new restrictions via Twitter, including the difficulties of women and children to attend future games:

https://twitter.com/CBSSports/status/345286472716386305

https://twitter.com/thefootballgirl/status/345300759044292609

https://twitter.com/HubbuchNYP/status/345303691768766465

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