The National Sports Collectors Convention will submit a proposal to its dealers this summer for Baltimore to be the 2010 show site.
NSCC executive director Mike Berkus said the National has tried to find an adequate facility on the East Coast to serve the wishes of the many dealers who have wanted a show in that region.
“Baltimore has always been pointed out as one of the desirable destinations,” Berkus said. “It’s close to a lot of major cities, but it never had a facility large enough for a National.”
Berkus said the National requires a facility with 400,000 square feet of exhibit space. The largest exhibit hall at the Baltimore Convention Center – which was expanded about 10 years ago – has only 300,000 square feet. So if the dealers approve Baltimore as a show site, it will come with a caveat.
“We can’t cut the autograph pavilion, and we can’t cut the corporate pavilion. So we’re going to have to limit the amount of dealer spaces,” Berkus said. “Some people with the lower priorities (number of previous shows attended) aren’t going to get in. We’ve penciled it in, and about 75 percent of demand will be able to be met. There’s nothing else we can do.”
The NSCC has been criticized by some dealers in recent years for rarely going outside of Cleveland and Chicago for show locations. If the dealers approve the move to Baltimore, and the show is a success, Berkus said the NSCC might be willing to take a look at other cities as potential show locations.
“If it doesn’t work and too many people are unhappy and can’t avail themselves to the benefits of the National, we’ll listen to what the dealers have to say about that,” he said.