They will come from all over North America and some from other countries, about 45,000 in all, to attend what is the largest sports and entertainment collectibles show in the world.
The National Sports Collectors Convention has been held in Chicago for 11 of its 38 summers with all but three of those events held at the Stephens Convention Center in the suburb of Rosemont. This year’s show, set to open Wednesday afternoon and run through Sunday, marks the second visit to the facility in three years.
Weekend warrior type dealers will share space with the hobby’s largest sellers, multi-million dollar auction companies and service providers. Over 650 exhibitors will be there, carrying vintage and modern era trading cards, autographs, new and old memorabilia, artwork and virtually every other type of sports collectible one can imagine. Booth space has been sold out for months.
Many of those who purchased booths arrived Monday while others arrived to begin set-up on Tuesday. Union workers at the convention hall will handle the really heavy lifting. Most of the approximately 3,000 exhibitors and many attendees will be in the Chicago area for five to seven nights and the show is big business, even in a city where major conventions are an everyday occurrence.
“We are extremely excited that the 38th Annual National Sports Collectors Convention is returning to Chicago,” said Dan Berkus, NSCC Director / Promoter. “Chicago has an exceptionally strong sports tradition with very avid and knowledgeable collectors and a diversified sports fan base.”
Attendees who purchase any of the National VIP Packages get an early start with the Topps VIP Party beginning at 2:30 PM Wednesday. VIPs can enter the show floor for the Memory Lane Sneak Peek beginning at 3:30. Attendees who purchase a One-Day General Admission ticket will be admitted to the National at 4:00 PM.
Over 100 sports personalities, most from seasons past, will be chauffeured to the show site to sign autographs at one time or another over the five-day period.
Show hours are Wednesday, 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m with VIP passes offering early admission. General admission and VIP tickets are available for purchase on-site throughout the show. Children twelve and under get in free.