BATON ROUGE, La. – About 100 LSU football fans — a record number — bought phony tickets for Saturday's game against Florida, and university police are looking for the counterfeiter.
"They were very good replicas of real tickets," athletics spokesman Herb Vincent said. "To the average person on the street, it'd be incredibly hard to recognize."
Athletics officials don't know of a larger number at an LSU game, he said. "It's an unfortunate byproduct of being No. 1 in the country."
Because the counterfeit tickets look real, LSU is advising fans to buy tickets only from the university, www.lsusports.net or a trusted source, Vincent said.
Otherwise, he said, "Who knows where those tickets come from?"
LSU Police Chief Ricky Adams said his department is working with other local agencies and looking into similar investigations nationwide.
The University of Florida and the NFL are investigating ticket counterfeiters, he said.
Adams said it seems that most of the counterfeits were bought online at non-LSU Web sites, but LSU is still checking sources.
Merchandise trademark infringement investigations are common but ticket counterfeiting on this scale and quality is rare, Adams said.
Other than some minor differences in the watermarking and fonts, Vincent said the counterfeits are nearly identical to the real deal.
"But what doesn't lie is the bar code," he said.
Some of the victims bought tickets unused by players' families, Vincent said.