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Bassmaster events make economic waves in Tennessee and South Carolina

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The Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic and Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors combined to generate more than $38.2 million for their host communities, earning honors in the Sports Destination Management 2023 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism awards. 

Photo by Breanne Jackson/B.A.S.S.

November 3, 2023

Bassmaster events make economic waves in Tennessee and South Carolina

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic and the 2023 Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors have been recognized by Sports Destination Management after generating a combined economic impact of more than $38.2 million.

“We are so proud to have the positive economic impact of the iconic Bassmaster Classic recognized again, but also to highlight the incredible draw of our High School National Championship,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Chase Anderson. “Through extensive media coverage of our exciting tournaments on the sport’s biggest platform and by attracting our signature large, enthusiastic crowds to a fishery, it is our goal to make every B.A.S.S. tournament an economic win for our host cities.”

The Bassmaster Classic, hosted by the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission, has proven itself as one of the best investments in sports, earning recognition as a 2023 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism (Mid-Market Division). The Super Bowl of Bass Fishing welcomed a staggering crowd of 163,914 fans to Classic Week activities. According to numbers released by Visit Knoxville, the Bassmaster Classic generated an economic windfall of more than $35.5 million for the community. In addition to producing more than $2.85 million in state and local tax revenue, including taxes on sales, restaurant purchases and lodging, the 2023 Bassmaster Classic and associated activities supported a total of 12,698 jobs. Fans traveling from across the nation and from as far away as Australia and Japan also accounted for 31,525 room nights at hotels across Knox County. Tournament coverage reached 4.5 million viewers across the two days of FOX and FS1 coverage.

The Bassmaster Classic was also recently honored as the “Best Professional Event” at the annual SportsTravel Awards. 

2022 marked the first time the Bassmaster High School National Championship was held on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C., and this year’s event enjoyed massive growth among participants and fans, earning the distinction of Sports Tourism Hero in the 2023 Champions of Economic Impact awards. Young anglers from 35 states and Ontario, Canada, qualified for the 480-plus-boat field. The tournament accounted for more than 10,000 room nights and had a total economic impact of $2.73 million for Anderson County. 

“The Bassmaster High School Championship has been on our radar since 2016 as a must-have event for our community,” said Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson, which hosted the event. “We knew the impact of this event would be major given the growth pattern of high school fishing and the continued development of high school fishing within the Bassmaster platform. The leadership of Anderson County has provided us with a tremendous facility in Green Pond Landing and the resources to be able to host events such as the Bassmaster High School Championship. This event, with 481 boats, was a landmark event for Anderson County, Green Pond Landing and Lake Hartwell!”

Sports Destination Management is the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market.

“Bass fishing events are some of the heaviest hitters in the travel sports industry in terms of economic impact, bringing in not just dollars and hotel business, but new attention to destinations that can host events or just attract amateur anglers for a weekend of fishing,” said Mary Helen Sprecher, managing editor at Sports Destination Management.

The 2023 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism awards included a variety of sporting events across small, mid and large markets.

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