The Toronto Fall Sport Card Expo is underway and it is shaping up to be the biggest fall sports show in years.
“Every show is getting bigger and better,” said show owner and promoter Steve Menzie. “This show is going to be bigger than the spring show.”
When Menzie says bigger and better, he literally means in every way.
The show was set to get underway with a preview night Thursday from 4-8 PM at the International Centre on Airport Road in Mississauga near the Toronto Pearson Airport. It runs through Sunday, Nov. 13.
Menzie said the move back to Hall 5 in the International Centre will expand the floor space and allow for more dealers and exhibitors to take part.
“We will have more than 150,000 square feet this year, which is a much larger area than we had at the Spring Expo,” Menzie said. “We had a wait list of 30 to 40 exhibitors in the spring. The larger hall allows us to accommodate more dealers.”
While the space is larger for the 2022 Fall Expo, the attendance is also expected to be up from the spring.
“Our pre-sale on tickets is 17 per cent higher than the Spring Expo,” Menzie said.
Upper Deck Series 1
The Toronto Fall Expo has traditionally been on the second weekend of November. Not only does it coincide with the Hockey Hall of Fame Weekend in Toronto – inductions for the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 take place Monday – but it also is timed with the release of Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey.
“That is always a big thing for the show,” Menzie said. “Traditionally, Upper Deck had always released Series 1 Hockey live at the show, and getting back to that is huge.”
This year’s show will mark the first time since 2019 that UD Series 1 has gone live at the show after COVID and the restrictions in Canada and the border forced the event to be virtual.
“For the hobby, the hockey collecting season really begins when Upper Deck Series 1 comes out,” Menzie said. “There is a buzz about the Young Guns rookie cards every year, and Upper Deck always has a popular redemption program at their booth.”
While players who have made their NHL debut this season are not in the set because of the timing of the product release, there is still solid star power in Series 1. Owen Power, Matt Boldy and Matty Beniers are the hot rookie cards to watch in anticipation of the product release.
Best Line-up To Date
According to Menzie, theline-up of guests for the Ultra Pro Autograph Pavilion at the Fall Expo is the best in the history of the event.
“We have added VIP events which enables collectors to be at the front of the line and to have a photo opp. experience,” he said.
One of the VIP experiences features three key members of the 1972 Canada-Soviet Summit Series. Paul Henderson, Phil Esposito and Yvan Cournoyer will be appearing at the Expo Sat., Nov. 12. The VIP package for $197.20 puts collectors at the front of the line and includes a 16×20 photo that includes all three players that can be signed by all three, or collectors can opt to get one signature per player. A photo opp. is also included.
“The players are signing individually as well,” Menzie said. “Paul Henderson has been very popular with the 50th anniversary of the series, and Phil Esposito has been extremely popular as well.”
Another trio of stars with a VIP opportunity are the members of the Philadelphia Flyers Legion of Doom line from the1990s. Toronto native Eric Lindros will be joined by his old Flyers linemates John LeClair and Mikael Renberg. The VIP package is available for $229
The third VIP package available features former Toronto Maple Leaf captain Mats Sundin.
The Sundin VIP package for $699 includes one regular and one premium autograph, a licensed Leafs jersey, and a backroom VIP photo opp. experience.
There is a limit of 25 VIP packages available.
Other former NHL players signing include Teemu Selanne, Wilf Paiement, Ron Duguay, Serge Savard, Ed Belfour, Gary Roberts, Errol Thompson, Theoren Fleury, Guy Lapointe, Kirk McLean, Peter Bondra, Dominik Hasek, Darryl Sittler, Pat LaFontaine, Mike Modano, Michel Goulet, Jari Kurri, J.S. Giguere, Denis Savard and Steve Shutt.
Former NBA players Dee Brown and Tyrone “Mugsy” Bogues are also appearing at the show, as are former baseball stars Jose Canseco and Tim Raines.
From the entertainment world, Patrick Roach, who played Randy Bobandi on the iconic Canadian comedy series ‘The Trailer Park Boys’, appears Sun., Nov., 13.
American politician and author Sarah Palin will also be signing at the show Sat., Nov. 12.
Even if you don’t go to the show, you can still get a deal. Show sponsor eBay is offering $20 off a trading cards purchase of $100 or more for collectors with a Canadian address. Full details can be found here.
The show’s weekend hours are 11-8 Friday, 10-6 on Saturday and 10-5 Sunday. More info is available on the show’s website.