February 18, 2013

Bassmaster Classic to boost region's economy

February 18, 2013 Associated Press


The Bass Bash, closing off Third Street between the BOK and the Convention centers and filling it with exhibits and a heated food and beverage tent, was another take-away from Shreveport.

"People waited in line there for hours to get into the weigh-in with nothing to do," Stava said. "So we created a fan fun zone."

Organizers return to key phrases time and again in discussing the Classic; rolling out the welcome mat, making a fan-friendly event, giving people a good experience. It's all about securing continuing return from an initial effort, and that means showing Oklahoma's best side.

Snodgrass looks to the lasting impact of 10 hours of international television coverage of the event on ESPN and continuing benefits from people visiting for the Classic and seeing what Oklahoma has to offer on television.

"Anything we can do to develop our outdoor recreation profile will be a strength for Oklahoma," she said. "What we find is once people come here and experience Oklahoma they want to come back."

Stava said the business and community involvement, particularly in a relationship that has drawn together two communities that are 90 miles apart, should open eyes for future possibilities.

"I hope it creates an understanding of the power of events like this and how it makes a city come alive and how it contributes to our economy, whether it's bass fishing or bowling or amateur or professional sports," Stava said. "We have never hosted an event like this so we're kind of coming to a dawn, and I hope it's so successful that people see we need to do more of this kind of thing and people start channeling those ideas to make this kind of thing happen more often."


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