The 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota was honored as the “Best Professional Event” at the annual SportsTravel Awards. The awards recognize the best events, venue, and host city in the sports event industry. The NCAA Women’s Final Four and Salt Lake City, host of the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend, were among the event’s other honorees.
“There is just no way to overstate the significance of the Bassmaster Classic to the sport of bass fishing, fishing fans, host communities, and the sportfishing industry as a whole, and we are thrilled to see this iconic tournament recognized as the best professional sports event in the country,” said Chase Anderson, CEO of B.A.S.S. “We’re thrilled to see the Bassmaster Classic mentioned alongside the Stanley Cup Finals, Super Bowl, and World Cup, which have all won this same award previously. This is a true testament to the hard work of the B.A.S.S. team, talented professional anglers, dedicated sponsors, and our partnership with Visit Knoxville. It also shows what our organization has known and proven for more than 50 years — fishing and the outdoor industry are a win for fans and local economies.”
The Bassmaster Classic not only welcomed a staggering crowd of 163,914 fans to Classic Week activities across Knoxville, Tennessee, but also reached 4.5 million viewers across the two days of FOX and FS1 coverage. Bassmaster.com and the B.A.S.S. social media channels also broke records for engagement as fans devoured content on the web and social channels. During the 2023 Bassmaster Classic, records were set for social media impressions, engagement, and video views as well as BassTrakk page views and streams of Bassmaster LIVE coverage — 1.2 million streams for more than 32.7 million minutes across Bassmaster.com, Tubi, and the FOX Sports digital platforms.
The “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” has also proven itself as one of the best investments in sports.
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 as far away as Australia and Japan also accounted for 31,525 room nights at hotels across Knox County.
“The SportsTravel Awards recognize the stars of the sports event industry,” said Jason Gewirtz, vice president of the sports division of Northstar Travel Group, which publishes SportsTravel magazine, in a release by the organization. “As events began to come back in 2022, we were thrilled to see hundreds of worthy events nominated for this year’s awards. The winners in each category exemplify everything that we love about the sports event industry and underscore the resiliency and power of the sports-related travel market.”
The SportsTravel Awards are nominated and voted on by the readers of SportsTravel magazine. Criteria included superior organization of, and attendance at, the event and competitor and/or spectator experience.