The Lone Star State will host the Bassmaster Classic in June, 2021.
Note: Post was originally published in May, 2020 and has been updated to reflect the event's date change.
Lake Ray Roberts and Fort Worth, Texas have been chosen as the locations of the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
It was initially announced that the event would take place in the typical Bassmaster Classic time of year (early March), but developments with the COVID-19 pandemic led to the recent decision to postpone until June 11-13, 2021.
"It's our hope that this delay will allow us to alleviate many of the challenges -- including any potential capacity restrictions and travel complications -- related to hosting both the tournament and Outdoors Expo in the current pandemic environment," said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. "We look forward to seeing thousands of fans, along with our partners and industry friends, at the 51st Bassmaster Classic.
The event will mark the third time Texas has hosted the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing, and the first time it's been held on Lake Ray Roberts in Denton. The extra festivities, like nightly weigh-ins and the Bassmaster Expo, will go down in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena and the Will Rogers Memorial Center, respectively.
"There are very few firsts in the world of sports," said Chase Anderson, Chairman of B.A.S.S. "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."
Lake Ray Roberts has long been known as a front-running fishery in the south central region, and routinely appears in the top 10 on the annual "100 Best Bass Lakes" list from Bassmaster Magazine. According to B.A.S.S., tournaments on this 29,350-acre reservoir typically require anglers to average fish in the 5-pound range to win.
"The Fort Worth Sports Commission is proud to host the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic in Fort Worth," said Jason Sands, director of the Fort Worth Sports Commission. "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 2020 Bassmaster Classic, which happened to be the milestone fiftieth, was held in Birmingham, Alabama, where a direct economic impact of $20.8 million and an indirect boost in business sales of $15.1 million. Fishing fans certainly enjoy their big tournaments, and bringing the Classic to an angling-loving place like Fort Worth should continue the trend of eye-opening economy boosts.
The 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic will be covered and streamed live on Bassmaster.com, ESPN3 and the ESPN App. An additional five hours of original programming will be aired on ESPN2 and the Pursuit Channel following the event.