KNOXVILLE, TN – March 29, 2019 – The 49th GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in Knoxville set multiple records March 15-17, including a new high mark for total attendance of 153,809, B.A.S.S. and the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission announced.
The Expo in the Knoxville Convention Center and the adjacent World’s Fair Exhibition Hall drew a record total attendance of 92,819 over the three days, according to turnstile counts. Sales at the B.A.S.S. merchandise booth were double the average for the past two years.
The Get Hooked On Fishing activity center, with casting lessons, a catfish pond and educational exhibits about fisheries, wildlife and conservation, drew a record 18,500 participants, mostly elementary-age children.
Classic Week drew fans from throughout the U.S. and internationally. An interactive map in the Expo showed visitors came from every U.S. state and several foreign countries. B.A.S.S. customer service officials reported record sales of memberships, with applications received from 35 states. Lifetime membership sales were up 50 percent over the previous year’s sales, including one purchased by Gov. Lee, whose wife, Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee, is an avid angler.
In addition, 258 members of the media applied for credentials to cover the Classic, including journalists from 28 states, as well as Japan, China, Australia, Italy, Germany and Canada.
Fans also tuned in from afar to watch the action on Bassmaster LIVE — which established new records in video plays and minutes watched — and follow the event on Bassmaster.com. Online visits were recorded from 179 countries, including Italy (the home nation of Classic competitor Jacopo Gallelli), Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, four of 10 nations with active B.A.S.S. Nation affiliates.
2019 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: GEICO
2019 Bassmaster Classic Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods
2019 Bassmaster Classic Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2019 Bassmaster Classic Premier Sponsors: Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia
2019 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods
2019 Bassmaster Classic Local Host: Visit Knoxville Sports Commission
2019 Bassmaster Classic Local Partners: Calhoun’s, Pilot Flying J, TVA
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. With more than 510,000 members internationally, B.A.S.S. is not only home to the nation’s premier fishing tournament trails, but it also boasts the most expansive and comprehensive media network in the fishing industry. Its media include The Bassmasters on the ESPN networks, more than 130 hours of tournament programming on the Pursuit Channel, 250 hours of on-the-water streaming coverage on Bassmaster LIVE and 1 million monthly visitors to the flagship website on bass fishing – Bassmaster.com. B.A.S.S. also provides more than 4.4 million readers with the best in bass fishing coverage through Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times, and its radio and social media programs and events reach hundreds of thousands each month.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, culminating in the ultimate event on the biggest stage for competitive anglers, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The trail also includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, BassPro.com Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series, and the Bassmaster Team Championship.