The AMERICAN AND CANADIAN SPORT, TRAVEL, AND OUTDOOR SHOW, an annual event in Cleveland, was first held in 1927 at the PUBLIC AUDITORIUM and ran until 1930, when it was discontinued due to the Great Depression. Commonly referred to as the Sportsman's Show, it resumed in 1937 as the American and Canadian Sportsman's Show. The original event was the idea of Clevelanders Aaron W. Newman, who ran the show until his death in 1963, and Morris Ackerman, the outdoor writer for the CLEVELAND PRESS. The first show's mission was to allow manufacturers of outdoor and sports equipment to display their products and to further the public's growing interest in outdoor activities.
These shows featured exhibits and demonstrations relating to boating, hunting, fishing, camping, golf, baseball, and tennis. Potted trees and shrubs transformed the auditorium into an outdoor setting. The show's return in drew 105,000.
During the 1940s, the Sportsman's Show's main attraction was a huge indoor tank used for demonstrations of log rolling, boating, and other water sports. Lucille Newman managed the show after her husband's death, selling his Expositions, Inc. company to Dave Fassnacht and Betty Friedlander in 1968. By this time the name had changed to the American & Canadian Sportsman's Vacation & Boat Show, reflecting a new emphasis on family vacations. Exhibits of recreational vehicles, together with an increasing number of travel booths, attested to the show's popularity, with over 200,000 attending annually in the 1970s. It became officially known as the American & Canadian Sport, Travel, and Outdoor Show in the 1980s.
The show moved from the Cleveland Convention Center (Public Hall) to the new I-X CENTER in 1985. By 1995 the event had expanded to 10 days, with an estimated attendance of 269,500 for the show's 650 exhibitions. Several years later, the show closed, supplanted by events with a narrower focus, such as the Ohio RV Supershow, the Mid-America Boat Show, the Northern Ohio Fly Fishing Expo, the Akron Boat & Water-sports Show, the Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo, and the Akron/Canton Hunting & Fishing Show.
Updated by Christopher Roy
Last updated: 9/5/2023