BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — For just the third time in the event’s storied history, the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic will be coming to Texas. The eyes of Texas — and the world — will be watching March 19-21, 2021 as the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing heads to Fort Worth with fishing taking place at Lake Ray Roberts in nearby Denton.
It will mark the first time Fort Worth will host the Bassmaster Classic, as well as the first time a major B.A.S.S. tournament has been held on this fishery.
“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.”
Downtown Fort Worth will be on full display during the event, hosted by the Fort Worth Sports Commission and Visit Fort Worth. Outdoors enthusiasts can browse at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, which will be held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, before taking in daily weigh-in festivities at nearby Dickies Arena.
“We could not have secured this world-class event without the support of our community partners,” said Bob Jameson, President and CEO for Visit Fort Worth, parent organization of the Fort Worth Sports Commission. “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.”
Recent Classics held in Birmingham, Ala., and Knoxville, Tenn., have drawn record-breaking crowds of more than 120,000 fans to Classic Week events, including the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo. The Outdoors Expo has grown into the largest consumer fishing show in the country, with 200 exhibitors from around the world onsite selling a variety of merchandise for fishing, hunting, camping and more — an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
“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.”
According to numbers released by the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic provided a direct economic impact of $20.8 million and an indirect boost in business sales of $15.1 million. This total of $35.9 million for the 2020 event is an increase over the 2019 Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville, Tenn., which generated a total economic impact of $32.2 million, according to Visit Knoxville.
A perennial contender on Bassmaster Magazine’s annual 100 Best Bass Lakes list, Lake Ray Roberts was the No. 15 fishery in the Central Region for 2019, and historically, has appeared in the Top 10 multiple years. In a state known for producing big bags, Lake Ray Roberts continues to shine. Tournaments on this 29,350-acre reservoir regularly require anglers to average at least 5-pounders to win.
“Academy Sports + Outdoors has helped families in Fort Worth have fun for over 25 years,” said Lawrence Lobpries, Academy Sports + Outdoors’ senior vice president of marketing. “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 + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic in Fort Worth will be covered live and streamed on Bassmaster.com, ESPN3 and the ESPN App, and five hours of original programming will be aired on ESPN2 and the Pursuit Channel following the event.
For complete details and more information as it becomes available, visit Bassmaster.com.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2 and The Pursuit Channel), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing. The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, new Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
About the Fort Worth Sports Commission:
The Fort Worth Sports Commission advances the city as an international sports destination. A division of Visit Fort Worth, the Sports Commission attracts youth, collegiate and professional events that deliver economic impact and boost Fort Worth’s image. The Commission supports development of and access to facilities that enhance the quality of life for all Fort Worth. For more information, visit www.FortWorth.com/Sports.
About Visit Fort Worth
Visit Fort Worth is the official destination marketing organization of the 13th-largest city in the United States, dedicated to promoting Fort Worth as a premier business and leisure destination with thriving centers of creativity, culture and commerce. Visit Fort Worth is the parent organization of The Fort Worth Herd, the Fort Worth Film Commission, Fort Worth Sports Commission and music initiative Hear Fort Worth. For more information, visit www.FortWorth.com.