The 2011 Bassmaster Classic, held in New Orleans Feb. 18-20, 2011, has been nominated for the SportsTravel Awards Best Single-Sport Event and Event of the Year. The winners will be announced in October at the TEAMS Sports Travel Conference, and B.A.S.S. fans can vote for the Classic to win the top prize.
The two awards recognize the event in its entirety, from the venue to the fan experience to organization and attendance. The competition itself was exciting, with pros bringing good-size fish to the scales each day, averaging 2 pounds, 11 ounces, and a big-fish catch of 8 pounds, 15 ounces. The Classic hosted the largest Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods ever, in terms of space. In addition, by partnering with the production team of JM Outdoors, the Bassmaster Classic stage was larger and the Classic had a larger video presence. Country music star Randy Montana performed for the fans, as did country singer and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Ashley.
“The 2011 Bassmaster Classic was the first major outdoor event to book with New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina,” said Sam Joffray, director of communications for the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.
“Not only was it a great event for the fans at the New Orleans Arena and the Convention Center,” Joffray continued, “but to have Kevin VanDam break the Classic three-day weight record shows that the Louisiana Delta is one of the best fisheries in the country.”
The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in spring 2010 damaged angler confidence in the Louisiana Delta, but the 2011 Bassmaster Classic showed without a doubt that the delta is still a stellar fishery. VanDam won the 2011 Classic with 69 pounds, 11 ounces, the heaviest winning weight for a Classic during the five-fish-limit era. VanDam’s fourth Classic victory tied Rick Clunn for the most Classic wins.
“This is a very prestigious award in the sports travel business,” said Michael Mulone, director of event partnerships for B.A.S.S. “As they say, it’s an honor to be nominated, but it would be even better to win. The entire B.A.S.S. team, the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana worked tirelessly to put on a great event.”
The TEAMS Conference is managed by SportsTravel Magazine, which has served the sports travel industry since 1997. The trade show brings sports events, like the Bassmaster Classic, in direct connection with host destinations like the 2011 Classic host city, New Orleans.
Fans can vote by clicking here. The Best Single-Sport Event is listed under Professional Sports, and the Event of the Year is listed in a dropdown box at the bottom of the page. The deadline for voting is Monday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.