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Strict new bag policy surprises, frustrates NFL fans as football season begins

Tough new security measures, including restrictions on bags allowed in stadiums, surprise fans at NFL preseason games. NBC News' Chris Pollone reports.

For many football fans this month, the excitement of seeing their favorite side play the first game of a new season will likely be teamed with frustration over strict new regulations governing what types of bags can be brought into stadiums.

Less than a month after April's deadly Boston Marathon bombings, the NFL’s Stadium Security Committee voted unanimously to limit the size and type of bags allowed into stadiums.

The new rules ruffled more than a few feathers as excited fans attempted to get into preseason games last week, only to find that the bags they were accustomed to bringing in were no longer allowed.

“I had season tickets for over 36 years and they continue to complicate things over and over again,” a Cleveland Browns fan said on his way into the game last Thursday.

The new rules state that fans are allowed to bring in one small clutch style purse, plus a one gallon plastic storage bag or a bag provided by the team that measures about 12 inches by 12 inches.

Those who fail to comply with the new rules will be turned away.

An NFL spokesman said the policy is not meant to make the fan experience more difficult, but only “to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment.”

While there may be growing pains as fans return for the start of the 2013 NFL season, league officials believe the football faithful will soon adapt without problem.   

“I understand the safety procedures, I understand the caution that they’re going through,” said one fan, whose large purse was not allowed into the game.