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New NFL security measures to debut at Gillette

All eyes may be on Tom Brady’s left knee at tonight’s Patriots preseason home opener, but before the game starts, thousands of fans will have to keep an eye on new security measures banning most bags from Gillette Stadium.

Under a National Football League bag policy that makes its Foxborough debut tonight, fans can no longer bring backpacks, large purses, or seat cushions into the stadium. The NFL had been working on the policy before the Boston Marathon bombings, but it was expedited after the attacks and was adopted in June.

The only bags allowed in the stadium must be clear and must not exceed 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches, said Stacey James, Patriots spokesman. Women’s clutches do not have to be clear, but they must not be larger than 7 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches. One-gallon clear freezer bags are also allowed, as are cameras and binoculars, but not their cases. Blankets, jackets, and coats are subject to searches, James said.


Those arriving by commuter rail will be reminded of the new policy through electronic board messages and with fliers placed in every seat, said Scott Farmelant, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail.

The Patriots organization will have clear plastic freezer bags available outside the gates, and police have asked satellite parking lot owners to distribute information fliers and one-gallon clear freezer bags for those who come unprepared, said Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary.