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WUSF's coverage of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Feb. 7, 2021.

NFL Warns About Fake Super Bowl Tickets, Merchandise

Bucs Super Bowl merchandise on a table
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media
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Police and league officials are working to maintain the integrity of officially licensed NFL gear.

The NFL has expressed concern over the sale of counterfeit tickets to the big game, as well as merchandise that is not officially licensed by the league.

With Super Bowl LV just around the corner, National Football League officials and Tampa law enforcement are working to get out in front of fraudulent tickets and merchandise sold by con artists.

“Every year, we see fans who arrive at the stadium on game day, only to be turned away at the gates because their tickets are not valid,” said Michael Buchwald, senior counsel for the NFL.

“Be wary of tickets that are advertised at a price below market value, or that appear too good to be true,” he added.

To help alleviate pressure for consumers, the NFL has made all Super Bowl LV tickets digital. Hard stock tickets will not be sold.

Buchwald also said that there are only three legitimate platforms that are part of the league’s ticket resale network: Ticketmaster NFL Ticket Exchange, Stubhub, and Seatgeek.

At the same time, authorities are keeping an eye on fake jerseys, hats, and other team gear.

Since 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and other government agencies have conducted “Operation Team Player,” which cracks down on the sale and distribution of counterfeit sports merchandise in the U.S.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan spoke about the work his department has done with federal agencies in confiscating around $67 million worth of fake merchandise over the last few months.

“Illegal products will be seized and those selling counterfeits are subject to arrest,” said Dugan. “We are very grateful to our federal partners who have helped us protect the citizens of Tampa from being scammed.”

By way of comparison, Operation Team Player seized a record-breaking $123 million in fake sport merchandise leading up to Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

NFL officials remind fans to remain vigilant and to only buy league products and tickets from trusted and reputable sources.

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