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'Philly' show looks for growth in temporary home

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The March version of the Eastern Pennsylvania Sports Collectors Club (EPSCC) Show, one of the country's most popular venues for buying and selling vintage sports cards and memorabilia, takes place March 2-4. Show promoter Bob Schmierer is hoping collectors and exhibitors will be more familiar with the event's new location in Reading, Pa.

The Fort Washington Convention Center, the site of the famed "Philly" show from 1993 to May of last year, was sold and will be torn down, a move that had left the future of one of the most highly regarded shows in the hobby up in the air until the move to a newly opened facility in Reading was announced in August.

According to Schmierer, turnout at the EPSCC's first show at the Reading facility this past December was "only slightly under last year" when the long-running show was still being held in suburban Philadelphia. There were 250 dealer tables at the December event.

Schmierer, president of the EPSCC, said current plans are for the show to be held in Reading in September and, presumably, in December as well. The hope had been that the show management team from the old Expo Center would be able to find another location in the Fort Washington area for the EPSCC show and other displaced trade shows, a process that is still underway. Even with that effort, Schmierer concedes "it's doubtful that anything could be ready until 2008."

"The show worked out pretty well," Schmierer continued. "It was very good for a new facility and a new location." The biggest problem, he said, was for collectors in finding their way to the site, a situation exacerbated by an outdated tourism brochure.

- T.S. O'Connell

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