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. Exhibition space fills quickly for this in-demand show, so interested businesses are encouraged to get on the waiting list today at Bassmaster.com/Expo.
"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.