By David Yarger
Co-Host The Chase
Happy hump day ladies and gents. Chase country, what an episode it was this morning, as we welcomed the one and only Darren Rovell on to the broadcast.
If you don’t know Rovell, he boasts one of, if not, the largest ticket collections known. On top of that, he is the sports business reporter for the Action Network.
On a daily basis, Rovell will blog betting tips, trends and strategies for the sports gamblers out there. On top of that, he discusses some of the big business news in sports.
Before Action Network, Rovell also spent time at ESPN and CNBC.
Some people may ask, why collect tickets? Rovell said tickets became more appealing to him over cards, especially once PSA began grading tickets.
“I really heard about that four years ago, I think it might’ve happened before that. With cards, it’s false scarcity in terms of the card company figures out how scarce they’re going to make it. … But with tickets, to me, (it’s) the scarcity and tying it to a moment. Cards don’t have a moment. Moments tug at the heartstrings,” Rovell said.
He added that once he got out of cards, he tried thinking of something unique to collect. He mentioned that it felt like there was no wiggle room in cards and there was more upside in tickets.
“I’ve sold less than 1 percent of my collection. I love history, I love moments and I love the chase to try and get some of these things. Some of them are just impossible,” Rovell said.
Rovell has set tough tasks on himself to acquire certain moments, including three betting slips, three programs and three tickets from Secretariat’s triple crown run. Rovell said the ticket from the Belmont Stakes was by far the hardest to acquire, with the second hardest being the Kentucky Derby betting slip.
Before Rovell really began talking about his ticket collection, he said he made a list of 100 moments he wanted to acquire.
As a ticket collector, Rovell did show some displeasure with current day technology, aka digital ticketing. He said he’s talked with teams about doing away with digital tickets.
“I’m not happy about it. I’m not happy about the fact that we don’t have (physical) tickets. I’m actively working with teams to try and change that. I’m trying to educate them to make them understand what is collectable and what is not. If the box office is printing it a day or two after, that’s not collectable,” Rovell said. “The only modern ticket that people really wanted that was in abundance was the Aaron Judge home run, because the guys in Texas were ready for it and ready to make money off of it. If they could sell you a bunch of them, they did. … So what I’m telling teams is have a machine where you can scan it and you can get a ticket. It has to have your seat number – kind of one of one in that sense – or season ticket holders will pay for a sheet of tickets.”
Rovell also discussed Fanatics hopping into the hobby and how it would affect not only cards, but the collectables hobby in general. All in all, he said he’s looking forward to what they can accomplish.
“They are all over the place in controlling the hobby more than ever before. Michael Rubin is very smart, I know him very well, I know the whole team at Fanatics, I think they’re smart enough to understand that they have to have a genuine interest in this hobby, or at least the feeling that they do. Hobby stores still have to be able to get cards that can’t be straight through Fanatics. It’s not all about the almighty dollar and I think they’ve hired people that understand that. I hope it all goes well. But I have confidence that they know what is in their best interest to take care of card people, and the one thing they have to do is understand that voice, instead of just making unilateral decisions,” Rovell said.
Rovell noted that you can find him at this year’s National in Chicago. To see more of his collection, check out his Instagram and Twitter accounts, and to see his articles, head to the Action Network website.
To see the full interview with Rovell, check out the YouTube replay.
Also on The Chase
Following the interview with Rovell, we finished the show with a box rip of the new release 2022 Topps McDonald’s All American Basketball Chrome. It’s the first time the product has made an appearance in 10-plus years.
We were able to pull two autos (not great written signatures, if I can say so myself), including one of Reagan Beers.
To win all the cards in the break, comment on the YouTube replay what your go to McDonalds order is. A winner will be announced on Friday’s episode of The Chase.