New Security for Fans at Browns Games

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CLEVELAND -- There were crackdowns and changes in store Friday night for fans who attended the Cleveland Browns' first home game of the preseason.

Starting this year, tailgating fans will notice a visible crackdown on drinking alcohol in the Municipal Parking Lot downtown and they will find increased security when they get to the front gate of the stadium before they go inside.

"Browns are like family, they're us.  Go Browns!" exclaimed one Muni Lot tailgater.

The annual Cleveland tradition has returned. The Muni Lot downtown was decked out in brown and orange as devoted fans tailgated before Friday's game.

This year, there were literally signs of change. The city has installed new signs reminding tailgaters that open containers, consuming alcohol and public intoxication in the Muni Lot are all prohibited.

"I think it's more of a cover themselves to be safe about it, we'll see what happens," said tailgater Ryan Smolik.

When asked whether he had seen anyone drinking alcohol in the Muni Lot Friday, he responded "no," then laughed and took a sip from a large plastic cup.

City officials say drinking alcohol in the Muni Lot has always been illegal. They say police officers will continue to patrol the lot and enforce the law as they always have.

"Just don't be out of control with it, please don't be hanging off the sign, don't be running out on the Shoreway, be respectable with it and that's all it was about," said Akron resident Kenny Jeffery.

"I think they want everybody to be safe and we can appreciate that, and we've got the best fans out here and we know how to be responsible and have a good time," said tailgater Tracy Pillar.

Another change Browns fans will notice this year is hand-held metal detectors at the gate. Each fan will have to be wanded before going inside.

"The way things are these days, it's very good to have.  It's safety for everybody here and we love the Browns so we're gonna keep coming to see them.  Go Browns!" said Dave Hajovsky.

"I agree, I agree, I think it's a safety measure and a good one, why not? I'm okay with it," added his wife Linda Hajovsky.

The new security measure was adopted this year for all NFL stadiums, including Cleveland Browns Stadium. It will replace more invasive pat downs that fans once went through.

"I think it's probably not necessary.  I don't know what happened last year, I don't know of anyone they apprehended in previous years, so based on that, I don't think it's necessary, but I'll comply," said Browns fan Frank Williams.