DENVER (CBS4)– The NFL is strongly encouraging fans not to bring any type of bags in what its calling a new “carry-in” policy.

The new rules keep fans from bringing in bags that are too large, including many purses.

“It will require people to change their habits. Everyone is probably going to need to take a look at what they bring and where they can minimize it. That’s what they need to do,” said Sports Authority Field at Mile High spokesman Andy Gorchav.

Strict new guidelines limit fans to a purchased bag that is made out of a clear material and meets the size requirements. One of those bags was sent out to every season ticket holder.

The NFL said only clear bags the size of a grocery bag or gallon storage bag will be allowed in the gates. One exception is a clutch purse no larger than a hand. The contents of that bag will be checked by security.

“Whoever came up with this policy is not a woman and is not an average fan,” said U.S. News blogger Laura Chapin.

The league said the change will cut down on the time it takes to clear lines of fans trying to get in.

“The intent is to help simplify the screening process at the stadium gates. We want people into the stadium faster,” said Gorchav.

Critics said the rule unfairly targets female fans and is a violation of privacy.

Chapin said concert venues, political rallies and other sporting events allow women to bring in purses.

“If all these other entities can figure out a way to manage security without treating women as criminals I’m sure the NFL can,” said Chapin.

Others believe it’s a way for the league to make fans spend more money by purchasing them online.

The new bag policy will be in place for Saturday’s preseason game where the Broncos will take on the Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Watch the game along with pregame and post game coverage on CBS4.

This is the policy posted on the NFL website:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.” (Official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags will be available through club merchandise outlets).
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bags.
  • An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.

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