Have you ever been to a football game or tennis match and thought about buying a t-shirt, team logo cup or hat and just didn’t do it? But after you got home, you kept thinking about that one special item and now you regret that you didn’t purchase it. Oh well, the stadium is closed and those high quality items are gone. You can’t just go back and get them, right? Well, partially right.
Actually, the companies that make and sell that high quality sports gear and those “stadium only” items have a secret. They have been putting them in a warehouse and in some cases; those items have been simply boxed up for the last 30 or so years. Well, somebody finally got smart. FMI, a stadium merchandising company, has decided to unpack all those boxes and give the Mississippi Gulf Coast the first chance at buying what hasn’t been on the market anywhere in years!
Their new store, a prototype of sorts, for collectible pro sports memorabilia is called Stadium Collection Outlet and it’s located right here in Gulfport at Premium Outlets. There isn’t another store like it in the country!
Operated and managed by Gene Brown and Paul Kotsakos, the store stocks whatever comes in the boxes from FMI. “We never know if ere going to open up a box and have Pro Bowl t-shirts from 1999 or Packers Jackets from their last Super Bowl. There’s always something unique and definitely collectable on our shelves. The amazing thing is that it’s still packaged with the original prices and we get the honor of selling it at a fraction of that cost” Gene said.
While we browsing the racks, I spotted a row of leather jackets. Original prices ranged from $700 to just over $1000. Stadium Collection marked them at $300. That’s 70% off for a collectible, leather, bowl jacket with some of the most beautiful patches and stitching on it that I’d ever seen. It even smelled like it just came from the factory!
FMI, Facility Merchandising, Inc., has 11 warehouses stuffed to the rafters with tons of brand new, never been sold jackets, jerseys, t-shirts, commemorative footballs, game day wear and even baby bottles and sippy cups emblazoned with pro team logos from years past.
Regretting missing the 2001 Super Bowl? Sorry you have nothing to show from that Saints vs. Patriots game you took your kids to see? You may be able to make up for lost time and reconnect with your dreams.
Most of the merchandise is pro football, tennis and some basketball but who knows what FMI may find in their warehouses once they start uncovering their long-lost treasures. For now, there’s no SEC college football stuff on the shelves but I’m still hopeful that anything could be found in those boxes that Gene and Paul unpack every day.
You can check out the stores offerings at Premium Outlets store #235 just across from the Toys-r-Us outlet shop. You may also call 228-822-8686 for more information.
There is plenty of Saints, Hornets, Giants, Packers and Patriots garb to be had. Maybe I really do need that Super Bowl XLIV jacket with the 31-17 Saints victory over the Colts emblazoned on the sleeve. Hmmm… I think I’m headed back to Stadium Collection Outlet.