During the 31st National Sports Collectors Convention at the Baltimore Convention Center, last summer, National organizers kept hearing one comment. “The National has got to come back to Baltimore again!”
At the Annual Meeting held on Friday night during the National, presentations were given by Atlantic City and Baltimore to host the 2014 National. However, there were two drawbacks to the bid from Baltimore. First, the Convention Center could not provide a 2014 date earlier than the middle of August (much later than the National has ever been held) and second, the Convention Center would not sign a contract with the NSCC more than 24 months in advance of those dates. Both of these issues posed large problems for the NSCC and show organizers.
Following the National, exhibitors were still very much in favor of returning to Baltimore as a result of the success of the 2010 event. Show managers Mike Berkus and John Broggi (SMI LLC) looked for a way to return to Baltimore and to overcome the two drawbacks for 2014. In October, Baltimore officials informed SMI that they could provide the National with 8/1-8/5/2012 dates, roughly the same time period as the 2010 National.
In addition, since those 2012 dates were within the 24 month requirement that Baltimore had, a contract could be signed immediately.That left one problem to be resolved. The National already had a 2012 contract with Cleveland. SMI LLC entered into negotiations with I-X Center personnel concerning the possibility of moving the 2012 National, originally scheduled there. Several discussions with Cleveland’s I-X Center were held and SMI LLC has agreed to pay Cleveland a one-time non-refundable fee to move the 2012 show and to hold the 2014 show in Cleveland. In addition, the 2018 National will be held at the I-X Center. This change provides a longer interval between shows in Cleveland. Once a tentative agreement was reached with the I-X Center, a ballot was sent to National Exhibitors for approval. Dealers voted overwhelmingly to return to Baltimore in 2012.
The Booth Selection Lottery in Chicago next summer will provide additional details concerning Baltimore 2012.
A limited number of booths still remain for the 32nd National in Chicago. If you wish to exhibit in August, please contact Megan in the National Office immediately to reserve one of the remaining locations. Call her direct at 732-735-6683. Full payment will be required before space can be assigned.
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