Bassmaster Classic back in Knoxville | WJHL
Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – The biggest professional bass fishing event returns to the waterways of eastern Tennessee next year. The Bassmaster Classic will return to Knoxville in 2023 for the second time after its first in 2019 in which local angler Ott DeFoe was crowned champion.
The town of Knoxville tweeted the announcement Wednesday morning just before a press conference with Visit Knoxville. The 2022 classic is just weeks away and will be held in Greenville, South Carolina.
BASS officials announced Wednesday that the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic 2023 presented by Huk will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 24-26 with competition on the Tennessee River lakes of Fort Loudoun and Tellico.
Daily weigh-ins will take place at the Thompson-Boling Arena – the lavish 20,000-seat venue on the University of Tennessee campus – and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will take place at the Knoxville Convention Center and adjacent World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. .
The Visit Knoxville Sports Commission will once again serve as host.
“Our first Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville produced record fan attendance and was one of the best classics we’ve ever had,” said Chase Anderson, CEO of BASS. “The Bassmaster Classic is the Super Bowl of professional bass fishing. It’s not just a great competition; it’s a true celebration of competitors, fans and the sport as a whole. We couldn’t be happier to return to Knoxville.”
With daily take-offs from Volunteer Landing, located downtown at the head of the beautiful Tennessee River, the 2019 Classic drew a record crowd of 153,809 spectators and generated an economic impact of $32.2 million for Knoxville and East Tennessee, according to a report by the Knoxville Sports Visit Commission.
Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes are twin reservoirs that cover approximately 30,000 acres. Since the lakes are connected by a canal, competitors in the Classic will be allowed to fish both. They will also find good fishing along the Tennessee River upstream from the Fort Loudoun Dam to the Interstate 40 bridge over the Holston River and the Highway 168 bridge over the French Broad River.
The field will include 55 anglers who will qualify through the Bassmaster Elite Series, the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens, the TNT Fireworks BASS Nation Championship, the Strike King College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops and the Bassmaster Team Championship. They will all be vying for a top prize of $300,000 and a total purse of over $1 million.