2022 National Sports Collectors Convention Atlantic City Convention Center CoverHobby Musings: NSCC Returns to Atlantic City – It’s almost time for the hobby’s biggest card show. The 2022 edition of the National Sports Collectors Convention returns to the east coast for the first time since 2016. Housed in the Atlantic City Convention Center, attendees can once again partake in many hobby events. For more on what this year’s show has to offer, I had the chance to catch up with the Executive Director for the National, John Broggi.

KS: The National is back in AC for the first time since 2016. Why was the decision made to return there?
JB: The COVID-cancelled 2020 National was scheduled for Atlantic City. After it was cancelled, we were informed that the I-X Center in Cleveland was closing. Atlantic City had the original 2022 Cleveland dates available so it was a natural to slide back into AC.

KS: What is it about that venue that you feel sets it apart from the National’s other recent host cities like Chicago and Cleveland?
JB: The population a 5-hour drive from Atlantic City is greater than almost any other venue in the US. There are 3 major metropolitan areas (Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore/Washington DC) a short distance from AC. It’s a summer destination, which will attract new attendees who would not otherwise know about the event. Additionally, the building is easy to get to and to move in and out of.

KS: I’ve noticed on social media the announcements about ticket packages selling out for the show. What are you predicting attendance wise for this year?
JB: After the numbers we saw last year in Chicago, I’m not sure what to expect. Our advance ticket sales are still running well ahead of 2021. I expect this year’s attendance to top last year.

KS: We are still unfortunately living through the pandemic. Will there be any COVID-19 protocols in place for attendees this year?
JB: We have not been informed of any COVID Protocols in place for this year. As of now masks are voluntary and there is no vaccine mandate in place. As usual we will abide by the regulations of the state and local authorities.

KS: What are some of the highlights for this year’s show?
JB: Well, we will have the first officially sanctioned Trade Night on Thursday inside the Convention Center. Our corporate area will have a large number of companies new to the industry as a result of the boom in collecting we’ve experienced the past two years. Signatures for Soldiers has been running an online auction since July 1, which will culminate at the National on July 30.

KS: TRISTAR has been hard at work getting athletes and celebrities lined up for the autograph pavilion. How would you say this year’s signer lineup compares to previous year?
JB: The names in this year’s TRISTAR Autograph Pavilion rivals most halls of fame. There are so many first-time guests at the show that collectors will have opportunities to get autographs they never have had the opportunity to get, including Floyd Mayweather, Odell Beckham Jr., Brian “The Boz” Bosworth, Dan Issel and Dan Marino. Then there will be a large entertainment group, including many of the actors from “The Sandlot”, Archie “Moonlight” Graham (Frank Whaley) and The Soup Nazi (Larry Thomas) appearing. It may be the best ever!

KS: Is there a signer in particular you’re looking forward to seeing?
JB: Although he’s been there before, I always enjoy seeing Mariano Rivera. And there’s Rico Petrocelli, who hosts the radio show we sponsor along with Tom Zappala. We will be broadcasting live on Friday afternoon from the Mike Berkus Stage.

KS: Signatures for Soldiers is once again the official charity of this year’s National. How has having them on affected the show?
JB: We are so happy to help this group. They do so much good and are great partners for the show. As I said earlier, they have a charity auction running online and ending at the National.

KS: This year, there’s an official National trade night happening on Thursday. Trade nights have become a popular late night activity for attendees, but why did you decide to formally have one this year?
JB: They approached us last year, but we weren’t able to get it pulled together in time. We have seen how successful the Trade Night events have been, so it was a slam dunk to have them officially become part of the show.

KS: What would be your biggest piece of advice to attendees this year?
JB: Same as every year – The Show is too big to do in one day, so consider a 5-day pass. Have a plan; decide what you’re looking for and don’t be afraid to buy it at your first stop if it’s priced reasonably. It may not be there when you go back. And wear comfortable shoes – the Convention Center is huge!

KS: What is your biggest piece of advice to people in terms of navigating and finding fun things to do in Atlantic City outside of show hours?
JB: Atlantic City has a ton of great restaurants. Make reservations because many places fill up quickly. There is a great amusement area for kids in Ocean City just a few miles away from the AC Boardwalk. And be sure to try the Johnson’s Caramel Corn. I’m not sure which is better, Johnson’s in AC or Garrett’s in Chicago!

KS: Looking ahead a little, what are the plans for the National after Atlantic City this year? Is there a chance we’ll see the show in a new venue in the near future?
JB: A ballot was sent to all eligible voters in May (due to be returned by August 31) to decide on the next 3 venues. Option 1 2024-Atlantic City; 2025-Chicago Option 2 2024-Chicago; 2025-Chicago Option 3 2024-Cleveland; 2025-Chicago. Chicago has already been approved for 2023.

Hobby Musings: NSCC Returns to Atlantic City

Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Kelsey Schroyer

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