The Academy Sports and Outdoors Bassmaster Classic is coming to Texas in 2021 for the third time in the event's history.
From March 19 to March 21, the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing will take place in Fort Worth, while fishing will take place at Lake Ray Roberts in Denton.
This will be the first time the Bassmaster Classic has been held in Fort Worth, as well as the first time a major B.A.S.S. tournament has been held at this fishery.
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“There are very few firsts in the world of sports,” Chase Anderson, Chairman of B.A.S.S., said. “We can’t wait to have a historic first next year when fishing’s biggest stage comes to Fort Worth. Our fans, sponsors and anglers are sure to be in for an incredible experience.”
The event will be hosted by the Fort Worth Sports Commission and Visit Fort Worth. The Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will be held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, and daily weigh-in festivities will take place at Dickies Arena.
“We could not have secured this world-class event without the support of our community partners,” Bob Jameson, President and CEO for Visit Fort Worth, parent organization of the Fort Worth Sports Commission, said. “We are grateful to Dickies Arena, Will Rogers Memorial Center, the City of Fort Worth, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Lake Ray Roberts, The Stockyards and many more for their time and thoughtful collaboration to ensure Fort Worth offers a world-class experience to anglers, their families and fans.”
Previous Bassmaster Classics held in Birmingham, Alabama, and Knoxville, Tennessee, have drawn crowds of more than 120,000 fans. The Outdoors Expo, which featured 200 exhibitors from around the world selling merchandise for fishing, hunting, camping, and more, has grown into the largest consumer fishing show in the country.
“The Fort Worth Sports Commission is proud to host the 2021 Academy Sports and Outdoors Bassmaster Classic in Fort Worth,” Jason Sands, director of the Fort Worth Sports Commission, said. “This is the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing and it will be an incredible privilege to welcome anglers, their families and fans from around the country to Fort Worth. This championship will bring over 70,000 visitors with an expected $20 million in direct spending including in our hotels, restaurants, retail, attractions and more. The Fort Worth Sports Commission will be monitoring event protocol and safety procedures as they evolve over the next several months to ensure Fort Worth is ready to host this prestigious tournament next spring.”
The Bassmaster Classic provided a direct economic impact of $20.8 million and an indirect boost in business sales of $15.1 million in Birmingham in 2020, according to numbers released by the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The 2020 event's total of $35.9 million shows an increase in impact since the 2019 Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville, which generated a total economic impact of $32.2 million, according to Visit Knoxville.
Lake Ray Roberts was the No. 15 fishery in the Central Region on Bassmaster Magazine’s annual 100 Best Bass Lakes list in 2019, and the lake has appeared in the Top 10 for multiple years. Tournaments on the 29,350-acre reservoir regularly require anglers to average at least five pounds to win.
“Academy Sports and Outdoors has helped families in Fort Worth have fun for over 25 years,” Lawrence Lobpries, Academy Sports and Outdoors’ senior vice president of marketing, said. “We’re excited to be a part of providing pro and recreational anglers alike access to bass fishing’s biggest event. We hope the experiences shared at this event will inspire growth in fishing participation across Texas and the rest of the country.”
The 2021 Academy Sports and Outdoors Bassmaster Classic will be covered live and streamed on Bassmaster.com, ESPN3, and the ESPN App. Five hours of original programming will be aired on ESPN2 and the Pursuit Channel following the event.