KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Agencies are gearing up for the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota, known as professional bass fishing’s biggest event, which is returning to town this month. The Tennessee Valley Authority and Knoxville Utilities Board are teaming up with B.A.S.S. to make the event venues “carbon-neutral.”

The Bassmaster Classic will be held in Knoxville on March 24-26 for the second time after its 2019 East Tennessee premiere in which local angler Ott DeFoe was crowned champion. Visit Knoxville is hosting and coordinating the multivenue, multiday sporting event which will take place at Volunteer Landing, Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville Convention Center, and World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. Anglers will be fishing on the Tennessee River.

B.A.S.S. announced the carbon-neutral partnership on Tuesday, calling it the first of its kind and sharing how the KUB and TVA are helping the Classic go green by reducing carbon emissions from Volunteer Landing, the Knoxville Convention Center and Thompson-Boling Arena through Renewable Energy Credits.

“While hosting 100,000 or more enthusiastic fishing fans, TVA’s renewable programs will allow the event to match 100% of their electricity usage with renewable energy and create the first-ever carbon-neutral Classic venues,” a news release states. “This is just one of many ways the B.A.S.S. organization is working to positively impact the communities we visit and protect precious natural resources throughout the year.”

“B.A.S.S. has a history of making conservation of our aquatic resources a high priority. TVA has been a partner in those efforts for many years, working hand-in-hand with our state B.A.S.S. Nation chapters on citizen advisory committees, habitat enhancement projects and lake clean-ups,” Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, said.

Ahead of the Classic, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful is hosting a river cleanup event on Tuesday, March 21.

Yamaha Rightwaters and Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful are teaming up with anglers Ish Monroe, Bobby Lane and Bill Lowen for a community litter clean-up event in Fort Loudoun.

B.A.S.S. said that last year, volunteers from communities in Tennessee, New York and Wisconsin pulled just under 18,200 pounds of trash from the ramps and shores of Chickamauga Lake, Pickwick Lake, Oneida Lake and the Mississippi River as part of the 2022 Bassmaster Lake Clean-Up Challenges sponsored by AFTCO and Yamaha Rightwaters.

The 2023 Bassmaster Classic is happening March 24-26 in downtown Knoxville and the University of Tennessee campus. The Visit Knoxville Kickoff Party presented by TNT Fireworks is happening on March 23 at the Knoxville Convention Center Outdoor Plaza Terrace. All activities and venues are free and open to the public. For more information, see the Visit Knoxville page.