In preparation for the MLB All-Star game set to take over the Valley early next week, baseball and city officials are giving the public a heads up to the dangers of counterfeit merchandise.
Advocating a "consumer beware" mentality for fans, Ethan Orlinsky, senior vice president for MLB properties, warned against buying bogus All-Star merchandise today.
"It's a real issue we have to deal with," Orlinsky says, citing that businesses worldwide lose about $600 billion to counterfeiting each year. "We're going to be working undercover and educating the public."
While Phoenix police and the FBI, along with other area law enforcement agencies, will be in position to bring the hammer down on counterfeiters, fans are encouraged to take it upon themselves to recognize fake products.
Looking out for an official MLB hologram sticker with an original source code, Orlinsky said, is one way that the public can distinguish real MLB merchandise. Also, a cut tag or label on clothing is another way fraudulent gear can be spotted.
Ticket tracers -- machines used to recognize fake tickets -- will be flown in from around the country and set up at each entrance of Chase Field before the games in case fans want to check the validity of their ticket.
City officials say they have worked for about a year to get ready for the influx of population, traffic, and other problems that go along with next Tuesday's All-Star Game.
At every All-Star event and at the game, the stadium's retractable roof will be closed to deal with the Valley's soaring temperatures, and Chase Field's gates will be opened three hours before each event so people don't have to hang around outside.
Free bottles of water also will be available to fans, said Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.
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