The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) made the official announcement on Thursday that the Bassmasters Classic will return to Lake Hartwell and Greenville in 2015. Tournament dates – Feb. 20-22 – and other details were announced at a press conference at the Bon Secours Arena in Greenville, where daily weigh-ins will be held.
Details of the event were expanded to confirm that the Classic anglers will be using Anderson County’s new multi-million dollar Greenpond Landing and Tournament Facility for daily launches and that anglers will make the 45-minute drive back to Bob Secours Wellness Arena for the weigh-in. The highly fan-touted Bassmaster Classic Expo will also be held at the facility, formerly known as the Bi-Lo Center.
Greenville set an attendance record the last time the tournament was held at Lake Hartwell and Greenville, in 2008. That tournament’s economic impact for the Upstate was estimated at $17 million.
“I am over-the-moon excited that the Bassmaster Classic is coming back to South Carolina for multiple reasons,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
“We are excited about the Bassmaster Classic returning to this area,” said Bruce Akin, the CEO of BASS. “The last time we were here in 2008, it was in the midst of a downturn in the economy and at a time when lake levels at Hartwell were extremely low. We will be working closely with our South Carolina partners over the next year, and at this point, it looks like conditions will be on track to have a great Classic here in the Upstate.”
The launch site is in its final stages of completion, but Tommy Dunn, chairman of the Anderson County Council, said earlier in the week that repairs will be made to the Whitehall Road Extension that provides access to Greenpond Landing. Officials are confident that the final touches on the facility will be completed in time for the event.
Chris Stone president of VisitGreenvilleSC is hopeful that the 2015 Classic will eclipse the number of visitors that attended in 2008.
“We look forward to an even larger event in 2015, which will have tremendous impact on the local economy,” Stone said.