Promoters of the National Sports Collectors Convention say the all-time record for opening day attendance was “smashed” at this year’s show in Chicago. While specific numbers aren’t publicly released, the National sold more tickets to the annual Wednesday afternoon VIP party than ever before.
Overall, it was clear to long-time attendees that this year’s five-day event took a backseat to no other show in recent memory. Show organizers said Tuesday “we’re going to call it the second best attended National behind Anaheim in 1991.” That’s when an estimated 10,000 people turned out on Day 1 alone and many were turned away. The big attraction then was free promo cards handed out by card companies. The ’91 show was a four day event.
This year’s show was the first National since 2019 and exploding interest in the hobby contributed to a sellout of VIP passes and a huge general admission turnout. NSCC officials say 47% of online tickets sold this year were purchased by first time National attendees.
Dealer Booths for the 2022 show in Atlantic City (July 27-31) were sold out during the Booth Lottery held in Chicago. Those who requested space but were not in Chicago “will be notified shortly if they were successful in obtaining booths for AC,” according to show officials. All other names will be placed on a wait list pending any cancellations.
The show returns to Chicago in 2023.