Bassmaster Classic draws huge attendance
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Attendance at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic exceeded early estimates as crowds reached 106,850, according to information released by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.).
Saturday and Sunday, the BOK Center’s doors were closed when maximum capacity was reached.
Mississippi angler Cliff Pace on Sunday won the world championship trophy and a $500,000 prize.
While it’s still too early to know what the exact economic impact is of this fishing extravaganza, which has been likened to the “Super Bowl” of fishing, early indicators are that the popular event drew a capacity crowd to venues.
Tourism officials initially had predicted that the event would attract 100,000 visitors and provide a $26 million boost to the local economy. Tax revenue for the city of Tulsa could reach between $1.5 million and $2 million.
The impacts of the fishing tournament from a sales tax perspective will become more apparent within the next couple of months once reports are released and the data can be compared with last year’s numbers, explained Bob Ball, economist with the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
“We were elated with the turnout from Tulsa and nearby communities for the world championship — as well as the thousands who traveled to see the Classic from other states,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin, in a written statement.
“This was the second highest attendance in our history, and I am confident attendance would have been even better had weather-related travel conditions not been so challenging just before the event got under way.”
Thousands of people wait for the doors to open at the BOK arena for the final weigh in for the Bassmaster Classic on Sunday. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World