Coronavirus: Major sports card shows in Chicago, Nashville canceled; others still scheduled

Several sports card and memorabilia shows have canceled their events because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Several sports card and memorabilia shows have canceled their events because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The sports world has been rocked by cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus. The effect COVID-19 is having on the world is also playing havoc with the sports collectibles industry in the United States.

The Chicago Sports Spectacular, a two-day sports card and memorabilia show scheduled to begin Saturday at the Stephens Convention Center, was canceled Thursday night, organizers announced on the show's website.

The move was in response to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's declaration that all gatherings of more than 1,000 people would be canceled through May 1, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“Due to the governor’s announcement to cancel all events where there will be 1,000 or more in attendance, the Chicago Sports Spectacular has been canceled,” show organizers wrote.

The fate of the show, which attracts several thousand paying customers, appeared to be sealed before Pritzler's announcement, as 21 sports legends scheduled for autograph sessions had canceled their appearances by Thursday night, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

Typically, there are 350 booths for the Chicago Spectacular, with more than 90 current and former athletes scheduled to appear.

On Wednesday, the Nashville Sports Cards and Collectibles Show decided to cancel one of the two monthly shows it hosts. Show organizers said the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution and in response” to the outbreak of the coronavirus that has affected central Tennessee.

Late Friday afternoon, GTS Marketing, scheduled to host a show in Edison, New Jersey, beginning March 27, tweeted the show had been postponed until the first weekend in May.

"Everyone stay safe," officials tweeted.

Meanwhile, organizers for other sports card and memorabilia shows scheduled over the next month said their events are still on -- for now.

Terry Cardini, who runs a monthly event in Florida, told Cox Media Group on Friday that the Tampa Card Show, a two-day event scheduled to begin March 21, is still scheduled to be held.

CSA Shows tweeted Thursday that it was "continuing to closely monitor" the COVID-19 situation regarding its show, scheduled April 3-5 in Chantilly, Virginia.

In Ohio, the annual Strongsville show near Cleveland scheduled to begin April 17, is still set, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

Lelands, which is running the show, told Sports Collectors Daily it is "closely monitoring" events and "taking it one day at a time."

“We do not know what the environment will be like a month from now, but as of today, we are planning hard for the convention,” Lelands told the website. "Obviously, the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, and employees is of paramount importance, so we will continue to monitor and do what’s best for all.”