Bassmaster Classic Adds to Quality Events in Tulsa Region

President and CEO, Tulsa Metro Chamber

The term “quality of life” is used quite often when describing what’s great about the Tulsa region. A sometimes obscure term, quality of life is used to represent just that – the quality of one’s life as a citizen of Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma.

While we often include our world class museums, wonderful RiverParks facilities and shopping at Utica Square in the definition of “quality of life,” I’ve found that the ever-changing availability of cool events makes a huge impact on our quality of life as Tulsans.

From Justin Beiber concerts to Oilers games, there’s always something happening in Tulsa that offers a new and exciting opportunity to get out into our great city and experience something we haven’t experienced before.

Up next on my list of new things to do is the Bassmaster Classic. The Chamber’s very own Tulsa Sports Commission is hosting the B.A.S.S. organization this month for its world championship of bass fishing, a tournament of 53 anglers competing for $1 million in winnings. Tulsa will become home to sponsors, competitors, fans and retailers for three days of competition and activities Feb. 22-24, with some 100,000 attendees expected to turn out for the event.

While bass fishing may not be something every Tulsan is familiar with, I must note that the beginnings of the Bassmaster Classic and the B.A.S.S. organization can be traced back to our hometown. Don Butler, a founder of the B.A.S.S. organization and the first lifetime member, was a well-known businessman and is still a familiar name to many Tulsans. Tulsa has the great honor of bringing the Classic back home, and in turn creating a $26 million economic impact on the region. This is the farthest west the Classic has ever been, and it’s a great chance for us to really show the nation what a great place the Tulsa region is.

It’s exciting to see this event, which includes so many awesome elements, come to Northeast Oklahoma, back to its roots. Each day, anglers will launch their boats from the new Wolf Creek facility on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees at 7 a.m. This is one of the coolest experiences any fisherman, lake-goer or outdoorsman can have. To see these boats take off, all at once, into the chilly morning water is quite a sight. There’s no cost to watch, but be sure to get there early.

Tulsans won’t want to miss the daily Outdoor Expo at the Tulsa Convention Center for the best and newest fishing gear and gadgets. With free admittance and a number of how-to’s, signing sessions and seminars planned throughout each day, it’s a great time to get into the sport of bass fishing, or learn more about this sport. A full list of hours is available at

I’m most excited to see the daily weigh-ins. These anglers pull into the Center arena in the fanciest boat and truck pairs, sponsored and wrapped like NASCAR drivers. Then, each angler will jump up on stage with their biggest catches of the day, ready to weigh in their bags and see if they’re good enough to take home the trophy and title. It’s free to watch weigh-ins, and doors to the Center open daily at 3 p.m.

Downtown Tulsa will have plenty more going on, too. Live entertainment, an outdoor festival and lots of food and beverages will be available for attendees.

It’s so exciting to see Tulsa host a number of these high quality events. Experiences like Olympic gymnasts at the Elite Challenge last February, the upcoming Conference basketball championships March 13-16, and the Bassmaster Classic are really great opportunities for Tulsans.

The best part is we’re bringing them to you. You get these experiences right here in your backyard, and the region gets the benefits of economic impact and increased visibility on a national level.

I encourage all of you to get out and be a part of these events, and make sure you get to enjoy every bit of what Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma offers your quality of life.

Updated 02-01-2013

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