Just prior to the coronavirus being declared a national emergency in the U.S., the 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk shattered previous attendance records in Alabama.
The Classic week had 122,814 people gathering for a variety of activities from the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo in Birmingham to daily boat launches on Lake Guntersville. This attendance is 35 percent higher than the previous state record set in 2014, and the fourth highest in the Classic’s 50-year history. The economic impact for the week is expected to top $25 million.
“This record-breaking attendance would not have been possible without the loyalty of our incredible Bassmaster fans and the partnerships between B.A.S.S. and our sponsors, exhibitors, the media and our host communities in Birmingham and Marshall County,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin.
This year’s event showcased the inaugural Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by Tourney X and presented by Abu Garcia on Logan Martin Lake in Pell City. Another new event was the Bassmaster Classic Kickoff Party, which benefitted Children’s of Alabama and featured live music, fireworks and anglers mingling with their fans. In addition, Bass Pro Shops, once again, sponsored its children’s area, showcasing fishing skills.
“We were thrilled with the support and crowd that turned out each morning at Civitan Park,” said Katy Norton, president of the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We want to thank our out-of-town guests and invite them back to Lake Guntersville to fish and enjoy one of Alabama’s great natural attractions.”
For those who couldn’t make it to the events, many tuned in to follow the anglers on Bassmaster.com, which experienced a 23 percent increase in minutes watched. The website was visited more than 1.8 million times by fans from 168 countries, and social media engagement was up 253 percent over the 2019 Classic.
B.A.S.S. is headquartered in Birmingham and includes 515,000 member organizations. It has integrated media platforms including its magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), its website, television show (The Bassmasters), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. Its tournament trail includes several levels of competition.