Organizers Say Bassmaster Classic Could Return To Tulsa

Monday, February 25th 2013, 7:03 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's own continue to get rave reviews after hosting this year's Bassmaster Classic.

From Tulsa to Grove, members of B.A.S.S. say they can't stop talking about the turnout. And while the conclusion of the Classic is less than a day old, some are already asking if the tournament will return to Oklahoma.

The Tulsa Sports Commission says they are happy with how smoothly everything went, but say the importance of the Bassmaster Classic stretches far beyond this one event.

Jeff Stava, with the Classic Organizing Committee, said this could be the beginning of bringing new events to Tulsa.

2/24/2013 Related Story: Tulsa, Grove Businesses Say Bassmaster Classic A Boon For Sales

"It's like resume building, you just start by doing a really good job and if you're a community that really is open to having those folks come into your community, you'll get that reputation and you'll attract other events," Stava said.

He said the anglers and other members from B.A.S.S. were overwhelmed by the support they received, both on Grand Lake and here in Tulsa.

"One of them had told the Lieutenant Governor that on a scale of one to 10, that we were a 37," Stava said.

He said this was the first time the city has filled up the Convention Center and the BOK Center at the same time, and that they expect to hit their estimate of 100,000 attendees.

"This will kind of allow Tulsa to be put on the map, B.A.S.S. is really happy, they have a very close relationship with ESPN—there are lots of other events ESPN is associated with," Stava said.

Winter weather during the practice rounds and the driving distance between here and Grove won't deter other tournaments from coming to Oklahoma, Stava said.

"The most important thing for the anglers and B.A.S.S. fans is that they have a good quality lake with a good fishery, and Grand Lake is, bar none, one of the top fisheries in the entire United States."

Stava said his committee will use this tournament as a template for future events, and that he wouldn't be surprised if there was another Classic in Tulsa's future. He said it could lead to a long term opportunity, even bringing events to the area over 10 or 15 years.

We spoke with David Precht, who is a member of the B.A.S.S. organization. He said Tulsa's venue has been one of the best, if not the best, he's ever seen.

While next year's tournament is already planned, Precht said B.A.S.S. is more than open to coming back to Tulsa for future Classics.

Special Coverage: 2013 Bassmaster Classic