Knoxville drew a record-breaking crowd when it hosted the Classic in 2019.
With the 2022 Bassmaster season set to take off next week, B.A.S.S. announced big news regarding bass fishing's biggest event, revealing Knoxville, Tennessee, as the home of the 2023 Bassmaster Classic.
This isn't the first time Knoxville has played host to a Classic, as it actually produced the best attendance numbers ever back in 2019 with 153,809 spectators, and generated an economic impact of $32.2 million.
Anglers who qualify for the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk will compete March 24-26 on the Tennessee River lakes of Fort Loudoun and Tellico.
Daily weigh-ins will take place at the Thompson-Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus, and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will take place at the Knoxville Convention Center and the adjacent World's Fair Exhibition Hall.
"The Bassmaster Classic is the Super Bowl of professional bass fishing. It's not just a great competition; it is a true celebration of the competitors, the fans, and the sport as a whole," said B.A.S.S. CEO Chase Anderson. "We couldn't more thrilled to be headed back to Knoxville."
The 2023 Classic will mark the fourth major event in Knoxville, with Elite Series events in 2017 and 2021, and the record-breaking 2019 Classic. B.A.S.S. hopes the 2023 edition can raise the bar once again.
According to a report released by Visit Knoxville Sports Commission, the 2019 event created a direct economic impact of $17.7 million and an indirect boost in business sales of $14.5 million, as well as $2.75 million in state and local tax revenue.
It was the first major B.A.S.S. event held on Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes, and the Bassmaster Elite Series made its first trip to the same waters last year.
"We're honored to host B.A.S.S. for the fourth time in seven years," said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. "We are proud of the continued successful partnership between B.A.S.S., our own Visit Knoxville Sports Commission, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, and the Knox County and the City of Knoxville."
Bass fishing fans can anticipate an exciting variety of largemouth and smallmouth bass, as anglers have relied heavily on each in past events. Given the time of year in which the Classic falls, both should still play a role.
"That's one of the things that makes this venue so interesting—just the variety of species and patterns that anglers have available to them," said Chris Bowes, B.A.S.S. Vice President of Tournaments. "You could see someone win it with all largemouth, all smallmouth or a mixed bag of the two. That always makes for a great event."
The field of 55 anglers will be competing for a $300,000 first-place prize and a total purse of over $1 million.
NEXT: MIKE IACONELLI OPENS UP ABOUT HIS DECISION TO RETURN TO B.A.S.S.