Investors and sports card issuers are set to go head to head on Thursday with an auction of shares of Visa Inc., the world’s biggest sports card operator.
The two sides are scheduled to meet to discuss the future of the sports card market, with Visa expected to be the winner of the auction.
The deal is likely to bring in billions of dollars, making it one of the biggest sports deals ever.
In return for agreeing to buy Visa, Visa will have a controlling stake in the future growth of the card industry.
The NFL has a stake in its own sports franchise, and will likely own the rights to the franchise as well, as it will own a share of a majority stake in that franchise.
If the bidding war between Visa and the NFL ends up in favor of Visa, it could set up a new way for sports card holders to get access to sports entertainment and revenue streams.
The auction is expected to begin around noon EDT (1600 GMT).
If the bid does not fall in line with Visa’s bid, it will be the first major sports card auction in decades and could mark the beginning of the end of the world for the card game.
Last year, Visa agreed to buy an additional $7 billion worth of stock in the card companies it owns.
This year, the NFL and Visa agreed on a price for the stock and have not yet set a date for when the sale will take place.
As part of the deal, the two sides agreed to a $5.2 billion merger, which will include Visa as a controlling shareholder in the companies.
Visa is the biggest U.S. sports card holder, with more than 1.4 billion customers, including a quarter of the major U.K. sports leagues.