Local News

Buyer Beware: Avoid Scalped Tickets, Knock-Off 'Canes Merchandise

Posted June 7, 2006 5:34 a.m. EDT

— Hurricanes fever has caught fire throughout the Triangle, as fans rush out to buy tickets and merchandise. But authorities are keeping close eyes on the sales of both to make sure the goods are authorized.

Tickets for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals went in a hurry. But if you bought yours online from someone other than Ticketmaster, you may not get through the gates.

The Hurricanes are one of the first franchises in any sport that are voiding tickets they track back to scalpers. So far during this quest for the Cup, they've voided hundreds of tickets. In addition, they said they've kept 500 tickets from getting to scalpers in the first place.

At least one ticket broker is speaking out against this policy. Earlier Wednesday, a spokesperson for StubHub called the team's actions "a disservice" to fans who want to see the game when it's sold out.

The company also guaranteed all their tickets are valid for Wednesday night's game. They plan tol have personnel on-site to take care of any issues.

Tickets aren't the only things under scrutiny. Hats, shirts, pucks are all moving off the shelves faster than a rush on a Hurricanes power play. Now the state is doing their best to make sure that counterfeiters aren't trying to make quick money off of poorly produced "knock-off" merchandise.

"When you buy counterfeit merchandise, you're not only not helping your team or the league, you're working against them," said North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.

At "The Eye", the official Hurricanes store at the RBC Center, all the merchandise is legitimate, NHL-approved merchandise. But what about all those street vendors out there trying to jump into the play?

Undercover state investigators spent the whole day checking out roadside stands, and they said all the merchandise they found was legitimate. But Marshall said there's a game plan for Wednesday night's match up.

"We're going to have undercover investigators on the premises ... so we want to throw down the gauntlet and tell the counterfeiters just stay away, get out of Raleigh," she said.

At The Eye, workers checked in an arena-sized shipment of Stanley Cup shirts on Wednesday. The Hurricanes' retail manager, Jim Blitch, checks in every day with investigators.

"I haven't heard any reports of bad, counterfeit stuff showing up in the tents that are set up all over town," said Blitch. "It looks like most of the stuff they are selling is licensed apparel."

All legitimate merchandise has at least one NHL hang tag or hologram sticker.