The Bassmaster Classic will be returning to Lake Hartwell and downtown Greenville next spring, and organizers say the so-called "Super Bowl of Bass Fishing" has the potential to be bigger than its previous run in the Upstate.
The March 2018 return will come just three years after professional anglers and fans battled bitterly cold weather.
The event translates into big money for Greenville and Anderson — potentially between $22 million to $26 million economic impact, said Bruce Akin, CEO of the Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society (B.A.S.S.) that conducts the tournament.
In Greenville, the impact is about $12 million, said Chris Stone, president and CEO of VisitGreenvilleSC, the local visitors and convention bureau.
This will be the third time the Upstate has hosted the event — first in 2008 and again in 2015, when despite temperatures in single digits on opening day, 103,000 turned out over a three-day period for daily weigh-ins at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, the Classic Outdoors Expo at the TD Center and competition launches from the Green Pond Landing and Event Center in Anderson.
The tournament will come a month later than previously, this time between March 16-18.