It’s so far so good for Lower Level Sports Cards. Owned by longtime collector Mike Bergmann, the Winnipeg, Manitoba shop is one of the few stores in the area that specializes fully in sports collectibles, featuring new and old trading cards from all the major sports, figurines, autographs and other items.
The store is a labor of love for Bergmann, who opened the shop partly out of his own passion for the hobby and desire to promote it.
“Winnipeg has a very rich history of card collecting, and it’s one that I’m happy to share with my customers,” Bergmann says. “The simple days of going down to a shop, talking about hockey or baseball over a couple packs of cards are still here.”
The name comes from the shop’s location on the lower level of a building on a busy street.
Bergmann has taken his love of the hobby to heart. Long before he established Lower Level, he was already a regular on the Winnipeg sports collectibles circuit, setting up at shows throughout the city. It was his success at these events – and looking for more opportunities to grow the hobby – that encouraged him to establish his shop.
“Growing up in Winnipeg meant lots of afternoons and weekends buying and trading cards with friends and chewing that all too familiar pink strip of bubblegum,” Bergmann, who recently revisited the old gum in a
YouTube video, said. “This is the experience I wanted to bring back – that time when collecting cards was simple. Now, a whole new generation of fathers and children can experience this together.”
Bergmann believes strongly in promotions to draw more traffic into his shop and over the weekend, gave away numerous prizes from Upper Deck during a Small Business Saturday outreach.
With the holiday season approaching, one which holds extra attention from collectors who are chasing down the rookie cards of the likes of Nail Yakupov, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Huberdeau and Winnipeg Jets’ blueliner Jacob Trouba, Bergmann anticipates that many of the specials at Lower Level Sports Cards will draw current and new collectors to the hobby.
Bergmann’s inventory includes over 1,000,000 cards from the 1930’s and up with singles, sets, unopened packs and boxes, magazines, books, McFarlane figurines, game tickets and much more. He tries to price some items low enough for kids to try something new, recently putting together a “$2 table” in the store.
You can find them on their very active Facebook page or call (204) 421-1299.