The third time was the charm for the Bassmaster Classic in the Greenville, South Carolina, region. The international fishing championship set attendance records— 143,323 people to be exact—in March.
While a later-than-normal date certainly helped, all involved parties agree the seamless partnership between two neighboring communities—Greenville and Anderson—had bass-fishing fans biting to be part of the festivities. For example, nearly 500 people turned out at Anderson’s Green Pond Landing in the afternoon just to watch the anglers load their boats and begin driving toward the weigh-ins in Greenville.
“The story is that one city with infrastructure assets and another city with natural resource assets came together to bring an international championship to their region,” says Michael Mulone, director of event and tourism partnerships at B.A.S.S., the organization behind the classic. “The numbers don’t lie.”
Anderson is home to Lake Hartwell, where the anglers went fishing for championship glory. Without the lake, which Mulone says is ideal for a large-scale event, the classic would never come to the region. But equally important are the facilities in Greenville—namely Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the 250,000-sq.-ft. TD Convention Center.
“One without the other doesn’t work,” says Robin Wright, CSEE, senior sales manager of sports at Visit GreenvilleSC. “It’s a perfect partnership.”