Boom in the U.S. collectible sports card market

Behind the window of an unpretentious venue in Greenwich Village, New York, a dozen men open their black suitcases: inside are collectible sports cards, a passion and a market fueled by the pandemic.

On that day, the excitement was greater than usual due to the news that a San Francisco-based investment fund announced that a letter featuring Golden State Warriors basketball player Stephen Curry , was valued at $ 5.9 million.

38-year-old jeweler Michael Campobasso is counting on this record to increase the value of another Curry card he owns from the 2009-2010 season when the three-time NBA champion was still just a rookie.

“I could sell it for $ 80,000,” enthuses Campobasso, who paid it $ 25,000 last year.

The collectible sports card market has grown in recent years, but containment due to the pandemic has fueled the collectable spirit and many have joined the hobby, while some investors have pushed prices up.

“It had a huge impact,” said Jacob Salter, 25, product manager for Bleecker Trading, the company that hosted the event in Greenwich Village.

“People were bored at home. They regained their childhood memories and started buying sports cards, ”he explained.

Baseball dominated the industry in the United States, but the 2020 hit series “The Last Dance”, about Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls, put basketball in the spotlight.

In February 2021, a letter dedicated to the Bulls legend sold at auction for $ 1.44 million. In April, a letter featuring rookie LeBron James sold for $ 5.2 million.

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