Bassmaster Classic awarded for economic impact

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The 49th edition of the Bassmaster Classic launch from the Tennessee River in March.

The 49th edition of the Bassmaster Classic launch from the Tennessee River in March.

The 2019 Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville, Tenn., has been recognized as a 2019 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism in the mid-market division by Sports Destination Management.

The award honors organizations and local partners who “worked together to produce events that have made our industry a more vibrant, more exciting, more varied and more interesting place.”

With a record crowd of 153,809 spectators, the 2019 Bassmaster Classic generated an economic impact of $32.2 million for Knoxville and east Tennessee, according to a report released by the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission.

“We are so proud to have the positive impact of the Bassmaster Classic and our partnership with Visit Knoxville Sports Commission recognized,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin in a statement. “It’s our hope that through media coverage of our exciting tournaments and by attracting our signature large, enthusiastic crowds to a fishery, every B.A.S.S. tournament can be an economic win for our host cities.”

According to the Visit Knoxville study, the Classic provided a direct economic impact of $17.7 million and an indirect boost in business sales of $14.5 million. The event is credited with generating $2.75 million in state and local tax revenue, including taxes on sales, restaurant purchases and lodging. Classic attendees, who traveled to Knoxville from almost every state and foreign countries as far away as Australia, Japan and Italy, paid for 29,232 room nights in local hotels.

Sports Destination Management cited these factors as well as boat-ramp improvements as reasons for adding the Bassmaster Classic to this year’s list of honorees. The Visit Knoxville Sports Commission worked alongside the City of Knoxville and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency to enlarge the competition boat ramps.

The 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk and Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will be held March 6-8 in Birmingham, Ala., and Lake Guntersville.

Next year’s Bassmaster Classic will mark the 50th edition of the Classic.

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