Bassmaster delivers $32.2m windfall for host venue
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The economic impact of the Bassmaster Classic on the host community has once again been underlined following last month’s event in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The 49thClassic generated a $32.2 million windfall for the Tennessee town, a 34% increase on the $24 million recorded for last year’s championship in Greenville and Anderson, South Carolina.
The event, which typically generates about $25 million in economic impact, also attracted an all-time best attendance of 153,800, comfortably eclipsing the previous record of 143,000 set in 2018.
The Bassmaster Classic Expo, which runs in conjunction with the competition, drew a record total attendance of 92,819 over the three days.
The figures, from a report released by the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission, the host for the Classic, are all the more impressive considering the Bassmaster series has come under pressure from the rival MLF Bass Pro Tour announced last year.
“This year’s Classic really blew us out of the water,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “The crowds, the enthusiasm, the economic impact were unprecedented.”
According to the report, the Classic provided a direct economic benefit of $17.7 million and an indirect boost in business sales of $14.5 million.
Classic attendees travelled from almost every state, as well as countries including Australia, Japan and Italy, and paid for 29,232 room nights in local hotels.
“Fishing strengthens our economy and brings jobs to our citizens,” said Mark Ezell, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourism.
B.A.S.S. CEO, Bruce Akin, said it was clear the 2019 Classic would be special when 5,500 fans braved the frigid temperatures for the take-off ceremony on the Tennessee River. “It just got bigger and better from there,” said Akin.