L.A. Kings fans going to parade warned about fake merchandise
As Kings fans gear up for Thursday's parade and rally honoring the Stanley Cup champions in downtown Los Angeles, NHL officials are warning them to watch out for fake merchandise sold on the streets.
Counterfeit merchandise has been a problem for the NHL in the past, and the games in Los Angeles have been no exception, said Tom Prochnow, the NHL's vice president of legal and business affairs.
"We want to protect Kings fans who are obviously extremely excited about the Stanley Cup championship to make sure they don't get stuck with poor quality, inferior merchandise — T-shirts that are going to fall apart after the first wash, clothes with misspelled words," Prochnow told The Times.
During the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, authorities in Boston and Vancouver, B.C., seized more than $500,000 of fake merchandise, Prochnow said. When the Bruins celebrated their championship with a parade in Boston, more than about $20,000 worth of counterfeit items was found.
"Obviously it's an exciting time for fans, and counterfeiters realize that," Prochnow said. "It really depends on the city — some cities obviously have more [counterfeiting activity] — but Los Angeles has certainly been more busy."
Fans looking for authentic Kings souvenirs should keep an eye out for a hologram sticker or tag, Prochnow said. Price is also a good indication.
"If the price seems too good to be true," he said, "it probably is."
The celebrations begin with a noon parade down Figueroa Street followed by a 2:30 p.m. ticket-only rally at Staples Center.
Photo: Robin Stawisky, left, looks at a Kings hat with Byat Schaer at L.A. Live this month. NHL officials warned fans to watch out for fake gear, advising people to make their purchases from official vendors. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times