Chicago Dealers Hoping Bears Push Business

No one is hoping for a Bears’ win in Super Bowl XLI more than those sports memorabilia dealers in Chicago. But the high price of autographs has frustrated some.

While out in the ‘burbs….fans came to meet the Fridge but those who brought their own ’85 Bears stuff were turned away.

Autograph authentication wasn’t much of a business the last time a Bears’ team went to the Super Bowl. A lot has changed in 21 years. No one knows that better than those hoping to capitalize on the Bears’ success.

Cards, prints and other memorabilia are hot, but if you want it signed you’d better be creative–or have some deep pockets.

Al Armstrong, co-owner of Al ’N Ann’s Collectibles in McHenry tells a Kane County newspaper, “It’s huge, huge business now. We used to carry quite a bit of autographed memorabilia. You just can’t compete.”

Meanwhile…’85 Bears Super Bowl hero William "Refrigerator" Perry was brought in to sign autographs at the Costco store in Mount Prospect, a Chicago suburb over the weekend.

Fans who didn’t read or hear the fine print came away disappointed though. The autographs were free but anything autographed by Perry had to be guessed it… at Costco. Those who brought their own items from home took them back home–unsigned.

Perry’s agent told CBS-2 in Chicago that the Fridge "was livid because he was never told fans would be required to buy merchandise from Costco to get an autograph. Perry reportedly wanted to walk out of the autograph session, but had to honor his contract."

One fan said, “They wanted over $25 for the pictures, which is outrageous, and you know we drove a long distance here and we ended up getting nothing. I was outraged. Very disappointed in how Costco in how they handled everything."

List of Chicago Bears memorabilia currently for sale on eBay