Friday, June 1, 2007

Still Waiting...Bass Classic opts for South Carolina

I am simply just down right frustrated. BASS, no owned by ESPN, annouced that the 2008 Bassmaster Classic will be Feb. 22-24 at Lake Hartwell near Greenville, South South Carolina. Call ne nostalgic but I have been awaiting the return of the Classic or any Bass event in the Elite Series to return to the James River for what feels like forever. Many of the guys I remember at the weigh in in my youth when Downtown held three Classic events have since put the rods down professionally. I am amazed Rick Clunn wiiner here in 90 of the Classic is still thrownin down on the Tour. Gary Klein though not a winner here is still fishing as well. I rooting for Woo Daves of Chester, Va and having my heart broken as we watched Guido Hibdon take the 88 Classic. Hey Woo remember back then I think it was 50K to the winner. Now the Classic winnner walks with a cool 500K large.
I only voice my frustration because though I know as all of us local fishin guys does that floods and droughts have challenged our beloved James but it is coming back, especially when you consider that Pro's get the James, Chickohominy, Appomattox and lots of other water to fish. We have to think about we are talkin 250horses nowadays on the Elite level. Back in 90 I doubt the Pro were running that much. The Pros can cover alot of water and alot faster. The James is still one of the most respected fisheries, but it begs the question why we are going on 17 years without a visit from the top Tour level.
It saddens me but many over the City of Richmond when you ask them about it haven't a clue and I think thats the biggest problem. There is some sort of rooted resentment towards holding Bass Events that began in the mid nineties that I just have never really understood. It as if these folks portray the BASS Elite Series as some sort of "redneck" pastime.
While I praise the folks in Bedford and Franklin County, which will host a regular Bass Elite Tour event next week, it saddens me that the City of Richmond has no will or desire to bring the vent, either a Classic or a regular Tour event back to Richmond. It is my understanding the City has not even attempted. Again it amazes me the two counties can work together to host an event that will be huge economically for the Smith Mountain Lake area, but a City has large as Richmond can't even put togther a group of people to make a proposal to BASS.
You can bet when I bump into Mr. Loupassi I will be sure to ask him exactly why it is the City of Richmond has failed to host a BASS event in over 17 years, or at least why it hasn't while he was on City Council.
Regardless, I will travel to South carolina and spend my money down there just as I did in Alabama this last year on Lay Lake for the 2007 Classic.

I just wish we had an arena large enough in Chesterfield to host such an event of that magnitude. I know we probably have enough access on our side of river for the Pro but the weigh-in and all that with 40-50K people may pose a problem. Wishful thinking or probably dreaming!!

1 comment:

BassFan said...

The issue is most likely two fold; first the James River had been in decline for many years and though BASS had had a tradition of coming its decline factored into their choice of going elsewhere and second the City of Richmond has never been too creative when it cam to such events, either marketing or pitching. That is why such groups as Sports Backers are thriving. Groups like those should pitch our area again to BASS. The City has so much more to offer than back in the late 80's and BASS fishing is becoming a growing nascaresque sport in terms of marketing and business dollars.