A beautiful new modern mall called “The Factory” in Franklin, TN was the setting for the first ever 2019 Music City Sports Collectibles and Autograph Show, October 4-6.
The show featured a wide assortment of sports collectibles from dealers traveling from New Jersey to Florida and many places in between, along with a sizeable number of autograph guests.
Promoter Rich Altman, a longtime fixture in the sports collecting and autograph signing universe, was undeniably excited about the weekend, when a brisk Friday afternoon of buying, selling and trading was taking place.
“We have 80 tables and I had a waiting list for 35 more,” explained Altman, while manning his tables. “We are going to expand next year to 80,000 square feet.”
The show took place just a week after one of the two larger yearly events put on by the Nashville Sports Card and Collectible Show at Lighthouse Christian School.
Altman said he loves Nashville as a location since it is a not only a big market for collectors, but also an easy drive for attendees and dealers. Just a few hours from points like Atlanta, Knoxville, Louisville and Indianapolis, the area’s potential draw is sizeable. Nashville and this show’s exact location in Franklin, offer plenty of hotels, restaurants and “other things to do” options.
For autograph and picture seekers, there was a mix of national and local talent on hand with Sharpie in close proximity. Headliners Pete Rose and Earl Campbell drew collectors who secured autographs on memorabilia and cards. They were joined by Baseball Hall of Famer relief pitcher Rollie Fingers and former All-Star catcher Ted Simmons. Former members of the Houston Oilers and now Tennessee Titans were extremely popular guests with Altman saying that advance autograph ticket sales “exceeded his expectations.”
Hockey has become popular in middle Tennessee with the success of the Predators, so Viktor Arvidsson, Rocco Grimaldi and Bobby Hull proved to be popular guests.
From outside the world of sports, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick of *NSYNC, were in attendance along with pop culture and sports show guest, Chauncey Leopardi, known for playing “Squints” in The Sandlot.
Of course it wouldn’t be Nashville without some signed guitars on hand and a few dealers had some nice autographed models containing sports stars and country music legend names.
Business was brisk from the moment the doors opened at noon on Friday. Altman made sure to get the kids in attendance involved and offered door prizes each and every hour.
Early show buying was on the agenda for many dealers looking to see what they could add to their own tables or bring back to their shops or online businesses.
PSA and JSA were on hand for authenticating items signed onsite and also took in submissions.
Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in America and Altman is leaning on Music City and this region of the South to grow this show. Judging from this weekend’s attendance and interest, he may have a hit on his hands.