Fort Worth, Lake Ray Roberts poised to host First Bassmaster Classic

You know what they say: The worst day fishing is better than the best day working.

Or maybe watching others fish.

The 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic heads to Fort Worth March 19-21, 2021, with fishing taking place at Lake Ray Roberts in nearby Denton. It will mark the first time Fort Worth will host the Bassmaster Classic, as well as the first time a major B.A.S.S. tournament has been held on this fishery.

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Downtown Fort Worth will be on full display during the event, hosted by the Fort Worth Sports Commission and Visit Fort Worth.

Outdoors enthusiasts can browse at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, which will be held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, before taking in daily weigh-in festivities at nearby Dickies Arena, Visit Fort Worth said in a news release.

“There are very few firsts in the world of sports,” said Chase Anderson, Chairman of B.A.S.S. “We can’t wait to have a historic first next year when fishing’s biggest stage comes to Fort Worth. Our fans, sponsors and anglers are sure to be in for an incredible experience.”

Recent Classics held in Birmingham, Alabama, and Knoxville, Tennessee, have drawn record-breaking crowds of more than 120,000 fans to Classic Week events, including the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo.

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The Outdoors Expo has grown into the largest consumer fishing show in the country, with 200 exhibitors from around the world onsite selling a variety of merchandise for fishing, hunting, camping and more.

“We could not have secured this world-class event without the support of our community partners,” said Bob Jameson, President and CEO for Visit Fort Worth, parent organization of the Fort Worth Sports Commission. “We are grateful to Dickies Arena, Will Rogers Memorial Center, the City of Fort Worth, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Lake Ray Roberts, The Stockyards and many more for their time and thoughtful collaboration to ensure Fort Worth offers a world-class experience to anglers, their families and fans.”

Jason Sands, director of the Fort Worth Sports Commission, said this is the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.

“It will be an incredible privilege to welcome anglers, their families and fans from around the country to Fort Worth. This championship will bring over 70,000 visitors with an expected $20 million in direct spending including in our hotels, restaurants, retail, attractions and more,” Sands said.

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He said the Fort Worth Sports Commission will be monitoring event protocol and safety procedures as they evolve over the next several months to ensure Fort Worth is ready to host this prestigious tournament next spring.

“Academy Sports + Outdoors has helped families in Fort Worth have fun for over 25 years,” said Lawrence Lobpries, Academy Sports + Outdoors’ senior vice president of marketing. “We’re excited to be a part of providing pro and recreational anglers alike access to bass fishing’s biggest event. We hope the experiences shared at this event will inspire growth in fishing participation across Texas and the rest of the country.”

The 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic in Fort Worth will be covered live and streamed on, ESPN3 and the ESPN App, and five hours of original programming will be aired on ESPN2 and the Pursuit Channel following the event.

– FWBP Staff