Greenville and Lake Hartwell, located in the upstate region ofSouth Carolina popularly known as The Upcountry, have been selected as the sites for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.
B.A.S.S. and South Carolina officials, including Gov. Nikki R. Haley, made the announcement today in Greenville.
Feb. 20-22 will be the competition dates for the field of anglers who qualify for the world championship through various Bassmaster competitions throughout 2014.
A new, multi-million-dollar launch facility, Green Pond, has been constructed near Anderson, S.C., for the anglers’ daily take-offs. They’ll bring their catches to Greenville for weigh-ins at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, recognized by the entertainment industry as one of the Top 50 venues in the world. The Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, the consumer show held concurrently with the competition days, will be at the 280,000-square-foot TD Convention Center in Greenville.
“We are thrilled that the Bassmaster Classic has chosen to return to South Carolina and selected Greenville for their 2015 location,” said Haley. “It’s truly a great a day in South Carolina, and now millions of people will get to see why our beautiful state continues to attract topnotch sporting events.” “B.A.S.S. is delighted to be returning to Lake Hartwell and Greenville,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “We will be working closely with our South Carolina partners over the next year to be sure Classic 2015 will be the first-class sporting event B.A.S.S. members and fishing fans worldwide have come to expect.”
B.A.S.S last brought the Classic to Greenville and Lake Hartwell in February 2008. The lake produced what was then the third-largest winning weight for a Classic: 49 pounds, 7 ounces. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Alton Jones of Texas was the author of that mark. Jones bested the 44-5 posted by Cliff Pace, then a 25-year-old, up-and-coming Elite pro from Mississippi. Pace went on to become a Classic champ himself in 2013.
Besides Gov. Haley, South Carolina officials on hand for Thursday’s announcement were representatives from South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT); Visit Greenville SC; Visit Anderson; the City of Greenville, Greenville County; and Anderson County. “We are thrilled that the Bassmaster Classic has chosen to return in 2015. The world championship of bass fishing recognizes the great combination of Lake Hartwell and facilities in Anderson and Greenville,” said Chris Stone, president of Visit Greenville SC.
Stone noted that in 2008, more than 75,000 people attended the Classic in Greenville over three days. “We look forward to an even larger event in 2015, which will have tremendous impact on the local economy, with a projected impact of more than $17 million in revenue to the Upstate,” Stone said.
Said Duane Parrish, SCPRT director: “SCPRT is very proud that Greenville has been chosen as the host site for the Bassmaster Classic in 2015. This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and efforts of Visit Greenville SC and Visit Anderson working together with the City of Greenville, Greenville County and Anderson County to once again host this premiere event, and is further proof of South Carolina’s growing reputation as a top destination for sports tourism.”