BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk marked the 13th time the iconic event has been held in Alabama and shattered previous attendance records, B.A.S.S. officials announced today.
The total Classic Week attendance of 122,814 was recorded at a variety of activities across Alabama, including the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo in Birmingham, daily takeoffs on Lake Guntersville and the inaugural Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia on Logan Martin Lake in Pell City.
This attendance number is 35% higher than the previous state record set in 2014, and the fourth-highest attended Bassmaster Classic in the event’s 50-year history.
“This record-breaking attendance would not have been possible without the loyalty of our incredible Bassmaster fans and the partnerships between B.A.S.S. and our sponsors, exhibitors, the media and our host communities in Birmingham and Marshall County,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “We’re thankful for the hard work of the entire B.A.S.S. family and our great volunteers who made this Classic such a success.”
In addition to the daily weigh-ins, the hands-on Bass Pro Shops Get Hooked On Fishing children’s area and Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, large crowds attended the takeoffs each morning at Civitan Park on the shores of Lake Guntersville.
“We were thrilled with the support and crowd that turned out each morning at Civitan Park,” said Katy Norton, President of the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We want to thank our out-of-town guests and invite them back to Lake Guntersville to fish and enjoy one of Alabama’s great natural attractions.”
A new event this year, the Bassmaster Classic Kickoff Party benefiting Children’s of Alabama, featured live music and fireworks and enabled fans to mingle with anglers on Thursday evening.
Fans also tuned in from afar to watch the action on Bassmaster LIVE — which established new records with a 23% increase in minutes watched — and follow the event on Bassmaster.com. The website was visited more than 1.8 million times by fans from 168 countries, including Brazil, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe, while social media engagement was up 253% over the 2019 Classic.
Classic Week culminated in crowning a new world champion of bass fishing as Hank Cherry, of Lincolnton, N.C., won the three-day tournament with a total of 65 pounds, 5 ounces and put the exclamation point on a dominant wire-to-wire victory.
Economic impact for the week is expected to top $25 million and will be announced once the calculations are completed by the local hosts.