Small-Timers, Big-Timers Hope for Fun Time in Chicago

This weekend’s big sports card and memorabilia show will be the second major event in Chicago in the last three months, but ‘overkill’ is apparently not the buzz word going in.

The Chicago area has always been a good one for sports card collectors and dealers. A city that loves its games–one that’s within driving distance of several other hot collecting markets– has spawned a double show whammy again this year.

This weekend, Sports Fest returns–in a new location–with dealers from all over the country making the trip.

More than 30 former and current professional athletes have been announced as autograph guests for SportsFest 2007. The show will be held Friday through Sunday, June 8-10, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center.

Confirmed signers thus far include Chicago athletes Gale Sayers, Bears first-round draft pick Greg Olsen, Tyrus Thomas, Fergie Jenkins, Luis Aparicio and Bill Madlock. Others include Joe Montana, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bob Gibson, Johnny Bench, Reggie Bush, Tim Brown, Bob Feller, Raymond Berry, Dale Murphy, Steve Largent, Sal Bando and Ted Simmons.

For an up-to-the-minute list of autograph guests and other details regarding SportsFest, please visit Show hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 8; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 9; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. Tickets are $10 for a One-Day ticket and $25 for a Three-Day pass. A $65 VIP package will include one-hour early admission to SportsFest all three days, as well as a variety of sports collectibles from different manufacturers.

In addition to purchasing items from and/or selling items to more than 150 collectibles exhibitors, SportsFest attendees will want to participate in the highly anticipated Upper Deck Redemption Program. Those who purchase Upper Deck products from exhibitors at the show and open them at the Upper Deck booth can redeem them for special trading cards including those of Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

On Saturday, June 9, the popular What’s It Worth? program will return to SportsFest. Whether it’s a sports collectible or an unusual antique, toy, comic book, or music item, patrons can bring it to SportsFest and receive a free appraisal from a panel of collectibles experts. Those bringing items to the show will have the choice of taking their collectible back home with the knowledge of what it’s worth, or attempting to sell the item to a dealer or commissioning the item with an auction house.

Sports card auctions ending soon on eBay