The National Sports Collectors Convention is underway in Chicago but there is big news about another new show hitting the city next year.
Mounted Memories and Schwartz Sports, the wholesale and manufacturing divisions of Dreams, Inc., have finalized plans to launch the FansEdge Sports Spectacular Presented By The Chicago Sun-Times. Slated to run July 16-19, 2009 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the summer event will be the third event hosted by the company during the year, with other shows scheduled for November and March.
The DREAMS entities took over the Sun-Times shows from long-time promoter George Johnson this year.
“After the amazing success of our sports shows in November and March, we decided to produce a summer show to bridge the gap for all of the sports fans,” said Brian Schwartz, president of Schwartz Sports. “The show will feature many all-time greats across the major sports, as well as some of today’s stars. Our autograph lineup will truly set the standard for summer sports shows.”
Dan Marino, Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose and Dick Butkus have already agreed to participate in the show, which will be held in Main Hall A of the convention center, as opposed to the November and March shows which are held upstairs in the smaller convention room.
The arrival of the new show apparently means that SportsFest, promoted by F&W Publications and traditionally held in the city each June, will no longer exist.
Mounted/Schwartz has already gotten a commitment from well-known dealer “Mr. Mint,” Alan Rosen, who has opted out of the National the last two years after a dispute with the NSCC over his table location.
Rosen has been given his familiar table inside the main entrance, along with his equally familiar briefcase full of cash. "I am thrilled to once again be participating in a major summer sports show," said Rosen, "especially in Chicago, which is consistently one of my strongest buying markets."
Along with the athlete appearances, Mounted/Schwartz has promised that the first 1,000 visitors in the door each day will receive a scratch-off ticket for a wide range of prizes, including free premium athlete autographs worth as much as $200 and rewards certificates and merchandise from FansEdge.com.
In addition, the center of the show will house a corporate pavilion, which will feature 10×20 and larger corporate booths.