Today is move-in day at the National, or as they call it, "early set-up" day. So if you were to roll up to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, you would find a lot of trucks and trailers – and millions of dollars worth of memorabilia – in the building.
Leading up to the show, which opens tomorrow at 3:30 (running until 8), the National committee has released some notes regarding the show's impact and what you can expect on the convention floor.
But first, a statement from one of the show's founders:
"The Nationals Sports Collectors Convention is the premier showcase of the multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment-collectibles industries," said Mike Berkus, one of the founders of the National Sports Collectors Convention. "We are excited to have Chicago host this experience where collectors, sports fans and the entire family can enjoy five days of sports paradise."
More than 45,000 people are expected to attend the five-day run of the National, with 750 dealer booths and another 100 corporate booths also being set up. The economic impact is beneficial for Chicago, with more than 4,500 rooms beings reserved over the show's run and restaurants looking at an additional 20,000 patrons.
"We are extremely excited that the 32nd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention is returning to Chicago," said John Broggi, NSCC executive director and promoter. "Chicago has an exceptionally strong sports tradition with very avid and knowledgeable collectors and a diversified sports fan base. Over 750 exhibitors from around the country and 90 high-profile athletes will be signing throughout the event."
In addition, for the very first time ever, the prestigious World Olympic Collectors Fair will be held in North America, in conjunction with the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention. The World Olympic Collectors Fair will include Olympic pins, mascots, posters, prize medals, commemorative medals, stamps, coins, programs, tickets, uniforms, game-used equipment, and much more. There will be something for everyone from beginner to advanced collector.
SCD will be there for the show's duration at Booth #1108. I'll be there starting Friday morning. Stop by and say hello.