2022 Bassmaster Classic coming to Lake Hartwell
Anderson and Greenville counties will co-host their fourth Bassmaster Classic when the world’s most prestigious professional bass tournament returns to the Upstate in March 2022.
Officials from B.A.S.S., Visit Anderson and Visit Greenville SC, announced today that the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk will be held on Lake Hartwell March 4-6, with takeoffs from Green Pond Landing & Event Center.
Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will take place at the Greenville Convention Center.
Known as the Super Bowl of fishing, the Bassmaster Classic hosts the world’s best anglers. The 2022 event will have 55 competitors, according to B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin.
“The Classic really has an international appeal to it,” Akin said. “People watched some 27 million minutes of the live coverage on Bassmaster.com last year. Interestingly, live coverage started here at the 2015 Classic. It was the first time we did live on-water coverage and it has turned into a phenomenon with people from all over the world watching it.”
The 2022 Bassmaster Classic will be broadcast on FOX and FS1.
“Lake Hartwell, Anderson and Greenville will be exposed to the world,” Akin said.
The Bassmaster Classic has the largest economic impact of any event held in Greenville, according to David Montgomery, Vice President of Sales for Visit Greenville SC.
“For us, this is really important in an industry that’s been affected by COVID. This is a real shot in the arm for the hospitality industry in Greenville,” Montgomery said. “This is a great opportunity to expose people to the destination. People who come to the classic for the first time see what a great fishery we have here, what a great downtown, what great hotels and what great restaurants. These people do come back with their family and friends.”
Lake Hartwell hosted previous Classics in 2008, 2015 and 2018, with each setting a new attendance record. In 2018, a then-record crowd of 143,323 fans attended Classic-related events in Anderson and Greenville. That Classic won a Sports Destination Management Innovation in Sports Tourism award for its ability to have two destinations working together for such a large economic impact.
“We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for our partners,” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. “I’d like to thank Greenville and Visit Greenville for partnering. We couldn’t do this without them, and they couldn’t do it without us.”
Bassmaster has staged 14 events at Green Pond Landing and Event Center since its completion in late 2014, with the facility generating about $56 million in economic impact for the area since its opening.
“That’s a testament to all the agencies that work together and to the local community,” said Chase Anderson, Chairman of B.A.S.S. LLC. “We consider this a top facility and destination in the nation.”
The 2018 Bassmaster Classic alone had a $24 million economic impact on the Greenville and Anderson communities, and like attendance, that number continues to rise, Anderson said. The 2019 Classic in Knoxville, TN generated an economic impact of $32 million and the 2020 event in Birmingham, AL generated $36 million.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to host the Bassmaster Classic once again on Lake Hartwell,” said Neil Paul, Executive Director of Visit Anderson. “The leadership of Anderson County has made a significant commitment to Green Pond Landing and the marketing efforts of Lake Hartwell, and we expect another record-breaking event with our teammates from Greenville.”
The 2022 Classic will feature 55 qualifiers who will earn their berths through the Elite Series, the Opens, the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation circuit, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops and the Bassmaster Team Championship. Plus, the defending Bassmaster Classic champion and winner of the final Elite Series event of the 2021 season will earn berths. They will compete in the no-entry fee event for their share of a $1 million purse, with the champion earning $300,000.