A new three-day show in Ohio is set to kick off in mid-September.
The Columbus Regional Sports Card & Collectibles Show runs September 15–17 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Promoter Sean Moore is hoping to create a fresh, well- run event that not only offers buying, selling and trading but the chance to view some high-end items as well.
Moore expects a few hundred tables and lots of merchandise. SGC and ISA will be at the show offering grading specials to attendees and dealer/vendors, and SMR Collectibles will be onsite taking PSA group submissions.
There will also be tables with toys, comic books, Star Wars, Pokemon, coins, and watches. Moore says some booth space is still available.
The event opens with a VIP Night Friday starting at 3 PM with general admission on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM -5 PM and Sunday from 10-4. Adult tickets are $15 per day and $25 for the VIP event on Friday.
With more than 40 years as a collector, Moore had plenty of time to build a mousetrap, er, card show.
Even the title, the Columbus Regional, is carefully chosen.
“It’s definitely intentional,” Moore said. “Obviously, the National is the bell cow. It is the coup de grace of the industry. It’s what everyone looks forward to.”
Moore says he’s a collector first, which is why the event is more personal to him.
“This really doesn’t have anything to do with the financial side of things. I want to see a lot of kids in there with smiles on their faces,” Moore explains. “I want to see dealers being professional and kind and cutting deals with each other and the public, and I just want everybody to enjoy themselves and have a really, really good time in a very family-friendly setting.”
The Venue and What’s Inside
His passion for creating a true, user-friendly show starts with the location.
“Fifty percent of the country is within a six-hour drive of Columbus,” Moore reasons. “There was a lot of thought and consideration that went into that decision. But ultimately, what it came down to is the fact that we are very, very logistically user-friendly to a large portion of the country.”
The quality of the venue sealed it. The downtown convention center is a modern facility that can accommodate a larger event.
On Saturday and Sunday, football fans can take in football games on four huge, oversized television screens. The mini-jumbotrons will feature games on both days. Moore says it will look like a Las Vegas-style sports book. While inside the show, people can actually come over and sit down in the seating area and watch the games. The food court at the convention center includes Subway, Starbucks, and several local favorites, including Chinese food, ice cream, and microbrews.
“There are tons of great hotels connected by a skywalk. The people are top-notch.”
Moore says that while many shows become destination events, he just wants to take it a step further.
“I wanted to give something back to the industry, and I wanted to do something fun.
“I want to have a tremendous amount of booth space so they can share their inventory, bring their best stuff, and have a show that is focused on dealer content.”
The show team is making extra efforts to make sure there’s a variety of items available for collectors who make the effort to attend. They’ve done more than just take a check and hand out a table.
Moore says building a great show is about the content that’s available on the show floor.
“We want you to bring your best stuff.”
Much of that comes from a trusted network of personal connections built over years of collecting.
“I think people are going to be really happy with what they see on the show when it comes to your dealers and the vendors that are going to be represented there.”
The show will also host on-site live breaks executed by Ohio Card Exchange.
Museum Quality Displays
And another area is a showcase of his own passion. He’s going to show off what he calls a “traveling roadshow museum of cards and collectibles.” It’s an impressive group of items he’s assembled throughout his life, acquiring some high-end items from major auction houses and dealers.
The exhibit includes a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie graded 9.5 by SGC and a high-grade 1952 Topps Mantle. This is an autographed photo of a 16-year-old Ty Cobb from his minor league days. It’s believed to be the earliest photo of Cobb as a player. The signed photo was a friend to his friend, famed sportswriter Grantland Rice.
You can also find an uncut sheet of the 1921 E121 American Caramel set, including Babe Ruth.
Also in the collection is a Ken Griffey Jr. high school baseball uniform from Moeller High School in Cincinnati. Moore worked with an auction house to acquire the jersey that was “sourced straight from Griffey Jr’s mother.”
It is at least 6,000 square feet of space and all the items he’s personally acquired.
“I’ve stored away and built a collection over the last 30 to 40 years that not a lot of people know about. I did it behind the scenes. I’ve been squirreling things away for years and years and years.”
The show will include 24-hour surveillance on the sales floor. Moore is also employing several Columbus police officers. “They’ll be in full uniform and full gear for the entire show, and we have private security. Things do happen. They are prepared.
“The convention center has cameras everywhere. It’s one of the most secure places I’ve ever seen. We want to make sure it is very safe and locked down. (In the rare event that something does happen, we can address it quickly and appropriately.”
Moore says his motivation for starting the show is to provide a setting in which lasting memories can be made.
‘It’s everything from a dad with his daughter collecting Pokemon to a dad with a son collecting NFL football running around a show. I’ve seen every combination that you can imagine. And it’s just better than that. Of all the things you can do with your family, for me, it’s certainly worth doing.
“It’s people collecting with their kids, talking about items, and watching the look in their eyes.”