As crowds flock to Minneapolis for SB52, so do counterfeit goods

Some federal agents are spending some of their Super Bowl week seizing counterfeit goods such as jerseys and hats.

It’s part of Operation Team Player, conducted by the National Intellectual Property Rights Center, a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“We’ve been at major mailing facilities, we’ve been intersecting packages, we’ve been seizing counterfeit goods,” said Matthew Bourke, spokesperson for the National Intellectual Property Rights Center. “We have targeting capabilities; we know where it’s coming from. We know who’s getting it.” 

Bourke said any Super Bowl week brings a flood of counterfeit goods to the host cities, mostly flown in from China, and mostly sold on street corners, flea markets or small stores. 

Some of the groups involved in the black market sale of fake goods also engage in drug trafficking and other crimes, he said. 

Bourke advises fans to purchase items only from licensed NFL retailers or the pop-up NFL Shops at the Mall of America, at Super Bowl Live at Nicollet Mall, or at Super Bowl Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center. 

Authorities advise any fans that encounter fake goods or anyone selling them to call police.