The National Sports Collectors Convention Heading To AC This Month

Written By Chris Imperiale on July 6, 2022

The National Sports Collectors Convention is scheduled to hit the Atlantic City Convention Center this summer. The massive five-day event takes place from July 27-31 and includes everything collectors want.

There is something for everyone, including NJ sports betting fans.

The National, as it’s known, is a yearly gathering of collectors, dealers, and sports fans in general, who want to get their hands on some great memorabilia. It usually takes place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, but has ventured into other cities, too.

The noteworthy congregation seems to grow every year, coming a long way from the initial “convention.” At first, it consisted of a few groups of collectors in a small Los Angeles airport hotel in 1980.

Since then, it debuted in other major areas around the US like St. Louis and Detroit, to give as many collectors the opportunity to attend.

The National features plenty of the top card manufacturers, auction houses, and card grading services, making it stand out above anything else.

Atlantic City sports collectors convention

If you’re a sport crazed individual, then the National at the end of the month is probably the destination for you. The Atlantic City Convention Center will house some of the most unique and vintage collectibles for fans of a wide range of sporting goods.

According to the event website, The National is known for having the “strongest tradition, best autograph guests, largest roster of dealers of vintage and new collectibles, and the biggest selection of cards and memorabilia all under one roof. It’s been said, ‘If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the National, it probably doesn’t exist!’”

Not only can you explore the cards and memorabilia from an extensive list of certified dealers from around the country, but there’s also so many noteworthy guests available for autograph. The incredible group of signers includes basically the entire cast from the film “The Sandlot,” while also hitting every major sport.

Fans of just about everything can find someone extremely famous in their field attending and signing autographs later this month. Some former athletes local to the New York and Philadelphia area consist of:

  • Dwight Gooden
  • Denis Potvin
  • Allen Iverson
  • Julius Erving
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Randall Cunningham
  • Brian Leetch
  • Darryl Strawberry
  • Ron Guidry
  • Bucky Dent
  • Phil Simms
  • Lawrence Taylor
  • Michael Vick
  • Mariano Rivera

That’s just those tied to local teams. The National showcases more than enough additional former sports stars signing their names, as well. People like Bill Walton, Eric Dickerson, Emmitt Smith, Dan Marino, Johnny Bench, and Floyd Mayweather also are confirmed.

The National Atlantic City schedule

As mentioned, this sizable event takes place over the course of multiple days to accommodate all of the parts involved. It begins on Wednesday, July 27 and goes through that Sunday, July 31.

Each day shows a specific schedule and changes throughout the week. Specific details can be found within the convention’s tentative list of events.

Even though kids who are 12 and younger are free the entire time, other attendees must purchase tickets. That being said, those looking to go to the event should act sooner than later, as some of the ticket options are already sold out.

According to its website, all VIP, SuperVIP, All Access VIP, and All Access SuperVIP selections are no longer available to buy. These granted guests five-day access, in addition to the exclusive VIP gift package and autographs.

The National provides other ways to get in on the fun, though. Five-day early entry passes and general admission tickets are also posted for online and on-site purchasing.

It’s possible the event sells out for certain days, so buying online is the smart move if you know your plans. Tickets are a tad cheaper online, too.

Once inside, there’s no shortage of great stuff to look at and do. Since card grading is so important at events like this, this year’s National has several companies offering their services. The following grading businesses will be at the AC Convention Center:

  • PSA
  • Beckett
  • Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG)
  • SGC
  • DCI Grading
  • Hybrid Grading Approach (HGA)
  • Mike Baker Authenticated (MBA)

The National suggests looking up any of these online to determine their specific pricing and availability during the show.

Photo by AP Photo/Rob Carr
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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers legal sports betting and casino gambling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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