It’s the last weekend in May in Indianapolis. The city is jammed with hundreds of thousands of sports fans looking forward to the running of the Indy 500- the world’s largest single-day sporting event.
Indianapolis is also probably America’s largest city without a major sports hobby show event.
The wait is over.
Those attending the inaugural Open Wheel Collectibles and Sports Memorabilia Expo at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in a few weeks should be in for a treat. “It will be the melting pot of the racing collectors, and sports memorabilia aficionados. In many cases they are one and the same person” states John Douglas, one of the event’s owners along with his wife, Joyce. “People are here from across the country and around the world.”
Douglas first started promoting memorabilia events in the early 1970's. He's signed up at least one auction house, several sports card and memorabilia dealers and many of those who specialize in the racing items fans have come to expect from a show held during Indy week.
The event will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 23-25 at the DuPont Pavilion, the same building that was named The Our Land Pavilion and housed the National Auto Racing Memorabilia Show- NARM- from 2005-2012.
Heritage Auctions is the event’s title sponsor and will be previewing one of the finest auto racing collections to come to auction. Some familiar Midwestern dealers have signed up as well.
“When I decided to go this route of merging sports and auto racing memorabilia, on Indy 500 weekend, one of the first people I called was Wayne Johnson. I’ve known Wayne for about 25 years and his opinion was important to me. Not only did he encourage me, he was the first to sign on and reserve tables,” Douglas said. “Every serious collector in Indiana, and most of the Midwest, knows Wayne. After speaking with him, I was very optimistic. This Expo event has some very real possibilities.”
Attendees can bring items in to the Expo to sell or trade and some will take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the Heritage people who will be present.
Expo hours are 4:00-8:00 on Thursday. The Hoosier Hundred auto race will be run on Thursday at the Fairgrounds beginning at 8:00. Friday hours are 1:30-7:30, and Saturday hours are 9:30-4:30. Saturday is Family Day with reduced admission. Saturday will also bring a Mini-Indy Quarter Midget Race where these fans can attend the collectible event. A 5K running event is also scheduled on the Indiana Fairgrounds property that day.
For more information, visit www.OWCshow.com.