Tennessee Ledger: Knoxville lands a really big one

Here’s my complete June 29, 2018 article in the Tennessee Ledger. Thanks for reading!

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By Tom Wood

The Super Bowl is coming to Knoxville! Actually, it’s “the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” – an important distinction, to be sure. But the widely accepted comparison aptly describes the impact that next spring’s bass fishing national championship is expected to have on the area.

Cover by Leigh Melton Singleton, art director Tennessee Ledger

The 49th GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be held March 15-17 on the Tennessee River, including Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes and the Holston and French Broad Rivers. Competitors will take off daily from Volunteer Landing downtown, and weigh-in ceremonies will be held inside UT’s mammoth Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Super Bowl is coming to Knoxville! Actually, it’s “the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” – an important distinction, to be sure. But the widely accepted comparison aptly describes the impact that next spring’s bass fishing national championship is expected to have on the area.

The 49th GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be held March 15-17 on the Tennessee River, including Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes and the Holston and French Broad Rivers. Competitors will take off daily from Volunteer Landing downtown, and weigh-in ceremonies will be held inside UT’s mammoth Thompson-Boling Arena.

Additionally, the fan-friendly Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo will be held each day in the Knoxville Convention Center and the newly renovated World’s Fair Exhibition Hall.

“It’s a huge get for the Knoxville area, the region and the state,” says Chad Culver, senior director of the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission, which recently hosted USA Cycling Professional Road, Individual Time Trial and Criterium National Championships.

“Bass fishing is really popular in Knoxville and East Tennessee, and Knoxville has always been a great sports town.”

And that great sports reputation was just one of the lures that drew B.A.S.S. to Knoxville. It will mark the third time the national championship has been held on Tennessee waters, but the first time since 1986.

“Knoxville meets and exceeds all the requirements we have for the Bassmaster Classic – great fishing on the Tennessee River, first-class facilities to accommodate crowds of fishing fans, a vibrant city with plenty to see and do and a corps of state and local tourism professionals who will ensure its success,” explains Bruce Akin, chief executive officer of B.A.S.S.

Read more here at Tennessee Ledger

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