BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The 50th Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods will come home to its Alabama roots in 2020. The world championship bass tournament will be held in Birmingham, Ala., with fishing competition taking place on Lake Guntersville at Guntersville, Ala., B.A.S.S. announced today.
The iconic fishing tournament will be held March 6-8, with daily weigh-ins and the Classic Outdoors Expo taking place in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) in downtown Birmingham, B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin said during a press conference Monday afternoon at the BJCC.
"It's fitting that the golden anniversary Classic be held in Alabama, where B.A.S.S. was founded more than 50 years ago," Akin said. "Our plans are to make this the most spectacular celebration of bass fishing in history."
The Classic was first held at Lake Mead, Nevada, in October 1971. The tournament was the brainchild of B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott, who wanted a way to determine an ultimate champion at the end of every tournament season. It has since been held in Alabama 12 times, eight of those in Birmingham.
"We are thrilled that the Bassmaster Classic will be returning to the Birmingham region once again," said John Oros, president and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This event is the Super Bowl of professional bass fishing, and it attracts the greatest anglers in the world. The tournament reinforces the fact that the Birmingham area is a great professional and amateur sports destination. We expect that the economic impact of the event will equal or exceed the $32 million spent in hotels, restaurants, attractions and retailers this past year in Knoxville, Tenn."
The 2019 Classic attracted a record attendance of 153,809 to all activities, including the Get Hooked on Fishing activity center, morning takeoffs, weigh-ins and the Expo.
The Classic field will include 53 of the world's best bass anglers competing for $1 million in prize money, including $300,000 to the winner. It will be covered live and streamed on Bassmaster.com, ESPN3 and the ESPN App, and five hours of original programming will be aired on ESPN2 and the Pursuit Channel following the event. In addition, the 2019 was covered by more than 250 journalists from 28 states as well as Japan, China, Australia, Italy, Germany and Canada.
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SOURCE B.A.S.S. LLC