“My initial reaction was really? They need all those rooms? I had no idea,” said General Manager Ken Knight with the Knoxville Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Not all of the hotel rooms are sold out for the Bassmaster Classic, but 85 percent have been booked for several months, specifically for anglers at this weekend’s classic.
“This is one of the biggest events that’s been in Knoxville in the 25 years I’ve lived and worked here,” Knight went on to say. “We got a call this morning from somebody coming up from southern Mississippis to watch the weigh-ins and participate in the event.”
Most competitors, support teams and thousands of fans will come to Knoxville this week, pouring money into the city.
“We just drove down from New Jersey,” said Dave Haas. “Got to try the food. Yes, yes we definitely came down to taste the Southern food, that’s what we want to be here for.”
“The people that I talked to that know fishing are just excited it’s in Knoxville. I mean this is a real coup for our city,” said Knight, who tipped his hat to the folks in part responsible for bringing the classic to Knoxville.
“We’ve been working on this for a year so the excitement that’s it’s finally here is almost overwhelming,” said Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas.
When the Super Bowl of fishing comes to town, you can expect a hefty economic impact that will surely last far past the last weigh in at Thompson Boling Arena.
“We’re talking a ton of people so over the next four days we’ll probably have anywhere from a hundred to 140,000 people come and go,” Bumpas added, estimating more than $20 million in economic impacts.
“Not only is the economic impact right here right now it’s also going to tell the story on national platforms of why you should visit Knoxville,” said Bumpas.
For more information on the 2019 Bassmasters Classic in Knoxville click, here.
Check out the gallery below from the final day of practice before the start of the @GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by @DICKS. #Bassmaster #BassmasterClassic #KnoxRockshttps://t.co/BJvvOimZDG— Bassmaster (@bassmaster) March 13, 2019