Clemente’s Corner: Card Shows You Must Attend in 2023

National Sports Collectors Convention

What makes collecting cards most fun is meeting others who share the same interests. There’s no better way to do that than attending card shows. It’s also a great place to meet other hockey collectors.

I got to attend a good number of shows in 2022. I went to my first National Sports Collectors Convention last summer in Atlantic City, N.J. A few weeks prior to that, I attended my first Sport Card Expo in Toronto.

Sure, buying hockey cards on eBay or other platforms is easy, but card shows bring people together, spark debates about the hobby and help create friendships. As a result, I hope to get to more shows in the new year.  

So many shows, both local and regional, have popped up just as the hobby has grown in popularity since the pandemic. There’s more demand for such get-togethers and that’s a great thing. The explosion in “Trade Nights” is another example of how the demand for get-togethers (as well as the chance to buy and sell cards) has also gone up in popularity.   

There’s yet a date for the 2023 Toronto Sport Expo (typically held in the spring and fall), but here are five other shows you should circle on your calendar scheduled for the first half of this year.  

1. JPRS Winter Extravaganza 
(January 14-15, 2023)


This show is local to me and will be held at the Westchester Marriot in Tarrytown, an hour north of New York City. The 200-table show, organized by the same people who put together the famous White Plains Show, has a good amount of hockey card vendors – especially New York Rangers and Islanders players.

The show also has former NHLers in attendance. Scheduled to appear are former Edmonton Oilers and Rangers great Glenn Anderson, plus his 1994 Stanley Cup-winning Rangers’ teammates Mike Hartman and Jay Wells.

2. Burbank Card Show
(February 9-12, 2023)


Southern California is a hobby hotbed and the Burbank Card Show, held in the Ontario Convention Center, is increasingly growing in popularity among West coast collectors. With 400 tables, some have even referred to it as the “West Coast National.”  

Vendors like Legacy Sports Cards and BDRR Sports have high-end hockey of that’s your jam. If you’re in the area, also make a trip to Burbank Sportscards. They have a great variety of cards, including vintage and new hockey wax and singles.  

3. Chicago Sports Spectacular
(March 17-19, 2023)


One of my favorite regional shows, I have attended the Chicago Sports Spectacular twice over the past few years. Featuring 300 vendors – including Sal’s Puck Junk booth – packs plenty of memorabilia in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (where The National will also be held this year) in Rosemont.

Conveniently located minutes from O’Hare Airport, it’s easy to fly in and out from anywhere to attend the convention. The show also has lots of autograph guests. They often feature retired NHLers. Check the show website for autograph guests coming in March.   

4. The Chantilly Show
(March 31-April 2, 2023)

[Photo by Clemete Lisi] 

This is another regional trading card show I love because it’s convenient from New York City via train. Held at The Dulles Expo Center in suburban Washington, D.C., the show features 300 vendors and dozens of autograph guests. There is some hockey at this show – but the vendors and autograph guests are heavy on baseball and football.

Nonetheless, it’s worth attending for their many tables featuring 25 cent boxes and unopened junk wax era packs for those looking to complete sets or take a trip down memory lane.   

5. The National Sports Collectors Convention (July 26-30, 2023)

[Photo by Sal Barry]

Simply known as The National and first held in 1980, this is the card show all collectors need to attend. It will be held in Chicago this summer and tickets are already on sale for those who like to plan early.

There’s hockey here (again, look for Sal’s Puck Junk booth), but baseball is still king at this show. Nonetheless, it’s worth attending given the volume of dealers (over 700) and the chance to meet up with collectors from across the world.  

Card shows are the lifeblood of this hobby. As you can see, there are plenty of places to buy hockey cards in person this year. Hope to see you at the next show.

Clemente Lisi is a lifelong Rangers fan who first started collecting cards in 1986. He collects both vintage and modern with a focus on rookie cards. Follow him on Twitter @ClementeLisi.

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Author: Clemente Lisi

Clemente Lisi is a lifelong Rangers fan who first started collecting cards in 1986. He collects both vintage and modern with a focus on rookie cards. Follow him on Twitter @ClementeLisi.

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