LP Field, other NFL stadiums restrict bags and other large items - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LP Field, other NFL stadiums restrict bags and other large items

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

This upcoming football season, many fans heading to LP Field and other NFL stadiums will have to leave some belongings behind as a new security policy goes into effect.

The National Football League has new rules for fans in the wake of the Boston Marathon. Officials say the precautions have to be made to protect the public's safety.

Under the new rules, fans cannot bring coolers, briefcases, backpacks, seat cushions, fanny packs, luggage, camera bags or purses larger than a handbag into stadiums.

One-gallon plastic bags are OK, as are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags no larger than 12" by 6" by 12".

"I think people now are used to dealing with minor inconveniences, especially if it means they'll be safer in the long run," said Metro Police Capt. Michael Alexander.

Police are also reminding anyone who has to leave their larger bags and items in the car to always park smart and keep the items out of view from potential thieves.

"Obviously, if there's additional things like that people have to leave in their vehicles due to these restrictions, make sure to lock those up," Alexander said.

Reaction to the changes is mixed.

"There's no reason for it," said Brendan McGinnis, speaking from downtown Nashville. "You can't live worrying all the time. To take it to these extremes is just ridiculous."

"It wouldn't stop my enjoyment," added Geri Herold. "If I wanted to bring in something that wasn't in a plastic bag, I would be offended. You can't live your life being scared all the time. We shouldn't have to live that way. If we do these things, we make ourselves that way."

"I think it's an appropriate measure," said William MacDonald, on the other end of the debate. "It's a good thing. This is unfortunately the world we live in now. We can't avoid it, and we can't hide from it. In fact, I would think there would be stricter measures in the future because terrorism won't go away."

The NFL is encouraging stadiums to have approved bags on-hand or have places off-site to check in items that can be picked up after the game.

According to the NFL Stadium Safety Committee, there will be certain exceptions to the rules just for medical equipment. There will be a special entrance at gates 1, 5 and 7 at LP Field specified for people with that equipment to be inspected.

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