Know what size and kind of bags are allowed at New Orleans Saints games

It’s time to weed out handbag clutter and start carrying only the things we really need. Fall housecleaning time?

Nope, New Orleans Saints season.

In order to expedite security checks and get fans into stadiums faster, the NFL in May announced new rules on the sizes and types of bags that can be brought inside. With the Saints first preseason game coming up on Friday, Aug. 9, those used to carrying handbags will want to become familiar with the new game-day regulations. (The ones from area stores shown in the gallery above should meet requirements.)

Allowed inside stadiums are:

Clear bags of plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12" (Some official NFL team logo clear plastic tote bags are available at, but a check on Monday turned up none featuring the Saints logo.)

OR a 1-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).

Plus, a small clutch bag, 4.5 x 6.5 inches, or about the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap

So what happens, we asked Mercedes-Benz Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan, to the uninformed who show up Friday with trendy oversized totes or designer bags in hand?

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“We’re trying to get the word out,” he said. “Currently there’s nowhere that folks can store bags if they’re not compliant. So the main message is prepare, and anyone who has a vehicle nearby can go back to the vehicle and stash it.”

The Superdome will be peppering its parking decks with flyers reminding fans to leave anything that doesn’t comply in cars.

And let the buyer beware: Some shops around town featue bags as Saints-game worthy, ibut they don't necessarily fit size requirements.

Screeners, Eagan added, will have a measurement guide affixed to their screening tables that will allow security personnel to easily determine whether a bag is compliant.

“We hope that once fans are used to the requirements that it will speed up entry into the building because screeners will be looking at only one type of bag,” he said.

Still allowed in the stadium are binoculars, cameras and smart phones as long as they aren’t in their own bags. “This is not a restriction on items that fans have been able to bring into the stadium. It is only a restriction on the type of container used to carry items,” the NFL website says.

There are exceptions for those with medically necessary items that don’t conform to specifications. They should go to screening areas at Gate A on the street level and Gates D and H on the Plaza Level.

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