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NFL's new bag policy to improve public safety at games

NFL fans arriving at stadiums for games in the 2013 season should leave their large bags at home.

That's the big takeaway from the new NFL policy revealed Thursday, which will limit the size and type of bags that are allowed into stadiums starting in the preseason. In an effort to increase public safety and expedite entry into the stadium, the NFL Committee on Stadium Security in May unanimously recommended the implementation of the measure.

Fans will have a few options for bringing smalls bags into stadiums. They only will be allowed to bring in small clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12", according to a press release from the league.

Other options include a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (like Ziploc) or a small "clutch bag," approximately the size of a hand. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after they've been properly inspected at a gate designated for this purpose.

"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.

Similar measures have started at many large college sporting event venues.

"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."

For more information on the policy, visit NFL.com/allclear.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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