BASS Reporter’s Notebook: Fans Can Count on More Free Fun at Bassmaster Classic’s Outdoors Show
Category: press release
Feb 10th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Feb 10th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Break out the superlatives: Always a Bassmaster Classic fan fave, the free-admission outdoors show in conjunction with the world championship of pro fishing just got better.
BASS announced today that exhibitor space is sold out for the 2010 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, Feb. 19-21 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex in downtown Birmingham, Ala.
For Classic fans, a sold-out Expo is a plus. It means the 2010 Expo will feature 170 exhibitors, 50 more than in 2007, when the show was also at the BJCC. Square footage this year will top the space of 2007: 220,000 square feet in 2010 vs. 210,000 in 2007.
Given that the three previous Birmingham-based Bassmaster Classic events (1996, 2002 and 2007) drew fans in droves, the Expo is shaping up this year to again be well-received. Records were set last year at the 2009 Expo in the Shreveport (La.) Convention Center. A record 107,600 people attended through the show’s three days. A second record was shattered with a turnstile tally of 60,123 on Saturday, Feb. 21, easily setting the Expo’s one-day attendance record.
With no admission fee, the Classic Expo offers hours of quality family fun. Exhibitors are slated to offer activities such as free games with prizes, autograph sessions with top bass pros, raffles and product giveaways.
The Expo also is known as the first place to see the latest innovations in fishing tackle of all types; the newest boats, outboard engines and Toyota tow vehicles; cutting-edge marine electronics; marine accessories; tech clothing and street wear, and more, all tailored to sportfishing.
One huge area of the show will showcase Classic sponsors along with the BASS booth, from which the Bassmaster.com show Hooked Up will originate throughout the competition. Fans can keep track of what’s happening on the water through an unofficial leaderboard set up in the BASS space. Posted weights for Classic competitors are based on the innovative BASSTrakk system.
Minn Kota, a new official Classic sponsor, will host an exhibit, as will Toyota Trucks, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Yamaha, Mercury and Skeeter. Bass Pro Shops, Nitro Boats, Triton Boats, Lowrance and Ramada will also have a large presence at the show, as will Dick’s Sporting Goods, the show’s presenting sponsor.
Hours will be noon to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, just before the final weigh-in of the 40th Bassmaster Classic takes place next door in the BJCC arena.
BUNDLE UP: The first official practice day of the Bassmaster Classic is Friday, Feb. 12. On that day, the forecast on Weather.com calls for “rain/snow showers” in the Birmingham area, including Lay Lake. The high is predicted to be 38, the low 29, and the chance of that slushy precipitation occurring is 40 percent.
Anglers at the Classic level of competition are conditioned to all kinds of weather; a storm might slow them down on the water, but won’t stop them (as long as lightening isn’t evident). What concerns anglers more is the effect that sustained cold air would have on water temperatures, and thus on the fish -especially the lunker largemouths. Lay’s spotted bass bite isn’t as dependent on warmer water.
By Feb. 17, the final practice day, highs should be 52 and skies partly sunny (although low temps Feb. 17 might be in the low 30s). But even one or two sunny days may be too little, too late, to heat up a Lay Lake largemouth bite.
Just another curve ball for Classic contenders.
KEEP UP: To keep tabs on the daily progress of their favorite 2010 Bassmaster Classic contenders, BASS Times readers can use the handy scorecard provided in the February issue, billed as a “special Classic preview edition.”
The issue also offers a comprehensive overview of Lay Lake penned by Steve Price, an award-winning writer of all things bass fishing. Coincidentally, Price recently was tapped for induction into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame; the Feb. 16 ceremony in Birmingham, Ala., is timed to precede the Classic by just days. Another writer whose work often appeared in BASS Times, the late Tim Tucker, also will be inducted posthumously. Click here for a full list new Hall of Famers.
Other Classic-related content in the monthly magazine includes a schedule of Classic events and the concise “Classic Firsts,” which highlights the event’s 39-year history. There is also a spread of Classic contenders’ bios with photos, an interview with defending champ Skeet Reese and a profile of the sole female competitor, Pam Martin-Wells.
BASS Times, of course, is only one of the products BASS and ESPN offer to fishing fans to keep up with the competition. Fans can review all their options by visiting Bassmaster.com.
AND SO IT BEGINS: “The Classic is calling. I’m leaving tomorrow for Birmingham.” – Kevin VanDam, reigning Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, in his Feb. 8 Bassmaster.com blog; he’ll be fishing his 20th consecutive Bassmaster Classic
For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and its expansive tournament structure while championing efforts to connect directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
As the flagship offering of ESPN Outdoors, the Bassmaster brand and its considerable multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer; comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, ESPNOutdoors.com and ESPN360.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
BASS oversees the prestigious Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
BASS offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.