Green Country Hooks Huge Event That Will Bring Millions To Local Economy

Thursday, November 10th 2011, 6:23 pm
By: Craig Day

Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma hooked a huge event. We've landed the 2013 Bassmasters Classic, one of the largest and most recognizable outdoor events in the country.

The Fishing will take place on Grand Lake with other big events will be at the BOK Center. This event will mean big fish, big crowds, big exposure and a big economic impact for our area.

The latest big announcement at Tulsa's BOK Center isn't about artists, but anglers. The best professional bass fishermen in the world will be in Oklahoma for the 2013 Bassmasters Classic.

"It's huge. We've got the Superbowl of fishing basically is what the Bassmaster is and we're excited to be coming here," said Bruce Akin, BASS CEO.

Bassmasters and the Tulsa Sports Commission announced Tulsa and Grand Lake will host the Bassmasters Classic in February of 2013.

"It's a very big economic impactful event for us," said Steve Bradshaw, BOK Sr. Exec/VP.

The world's top 54 bass anglers will compete for a half million dollar top prize. But the area's economy will come out the big winner.

"There's just tons of people who show up for it, and it's just a real boom for the economy," said Disney resident Tom Thomasson.

Fishing will take place on Grand Lake near Disney State Park which is close to the Pensacola dam. Yvonne Coats owns a store in Disney and is thrilled the premiere competition is coming.

"I think it is going to be good. Nice traffic flow, get people involved in our area, and once they see how wonderful it is and our people, they'll keep coming back," Coats said.

While fishing is on Grand Lake, daily weigh ins that attract thousands of people will be at the BOK center. The arena will also host a huge outdoor expo that draws an average attendance of 70-thousand people over three days.

The event will generate an estimated 26 million dollars for the area economy. Plus it will generate a lot of nationwide exposure for Eastern Oklahoma.

"We need as much exposure as possible, so anything that opens people's eyes to what Oklahoma has to offer them is awesome," Coats said.

Grand Lake has hosted six Bassmasters invitational events over the years, but this one will be the biggest one of all.

The dates for the event are February 22nd, 23rd and 24th of. 2013. The overall purse for the classic is $1.2 million.