The Super Bowl of bass fishing is coming to Shreveport-Bossier City. Officials announced Thursday that the Bassmaster Classic will be held on the Red River, Feb. 20-22, 2009.

"The months' long process has certainly been worth the effort. This opportunity would not be possible if not for the support we received from the cities, our partners and the state," said Mary Ann Tice, executive director of the Shreveport Regional Sports Authority. "This will be an extremely significant event for Northwest Louisiana, and we are proud to work with ESPN/BASS."

The Bassmaster Classic is the ultimate competition in professional bass fishing. This spectacular three-day event -- complete with a theatrical presentation of the weigh-ins and hours of television coverage -- delights fans of all ages. The CenturyTel Center will be the host venue for the weigh-ins, and the Red River South Marina is the official launch site.
The ESPN Consumer Outdoor Show featuring 150 vendors will be held at the Shreveport Convention Center.

Shreveport-Bossier City was chosen not only for its excellent bass fishing in the Red River, but also for its outstanding food, attractions, shopping, entertainment and Vegas-style casinos. With Bass Pro Shops located in the Louisiana Boardwalk, anglers and their families are sure to find something for everyone in this riverfront lifestyle center.

"This has the potential to be the largest event held in the region," said Stacy Brown, president of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau. "It will generate more than 5,000 hotel room nights, 10 hours of ESPN television coverage, and worldwide print media."

According to studies provided by the company, it is expected to draw some 70,000 spectators for the three-day event, and contribute approximately $24 million in economic impact to the Shreveport-Bossier City economy.

The Bassmasters Classic was first held in 1971 in Lake Mead, Nevada. After years of being held in July, the event was moved to February in 2006. First-place money has grown from $10,000 in 1971 to $500,000 in 2006. The Classic features 50 of the best pro bass fishermen in the nation.