An Economic Windfall


Despite coronavirus concerns thwarting travel plans, the Bassmaster Classic, held March 6-8 on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville, drew 122,814 attendees and contributed $35.9 million to the Birmingham area.

“We are thrilled that the Bassmaster Classic created such a positive impact for the Birmingham region once again,” said John Oros, president and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a statement. “This event is the Super Bowl of professional bass fishing, and it attracts the greatest anglers in the world.”

The tournament had a reported direct economic impact of $20.8 million and an indirect impact of $15.1 million.

“It meant so much to us to host the 50th Classic here in our home state of Alabama,” B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin said. “Our plan from the beginning was to make 2020 the most spectacular celebration of bass fishing in history.”

Several tackle companies have changed their production schedules so they can use the Bassmaster event to introduce new product. This year, about a dozen products premiered during the Expo, even as Shimano pulled out from the show amid covid-19 concerns.

The Classic made it just under the wire, as covid-19 was declared a pandemic the following week. It was one of the last B.A.S.S. events that went on as scheduled.

Eleven tournaments scheduled for April and May have been postponed. B.A.S.S. announced that three of them would be tentatively rescheduled for the fall. It expects to release an adjusted schedule for the remaining 2020 tournaments in the coming weeks.