Day One Of The Bassmaster Classic Brings Crowds, But Not For Long

Posted on: 5:12 pm, February 21, 2014, by , updated on: 10:31am, February 22, 2014

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The first day of the Bassmaster Classic brought in crowds, but not for long.

Early Friday morning when the pros took off on the water Guntersville police had their hands full. “We estimated we had about 35 hundred people out here this morning,” Lieutenant Mike Turner says.

But as soon as the pros headed out for the day, those people left. “Probably about nine o’clock the crowd all got out, or crowds started leaving out,” Lieutenant Turner says, “Of course it took a while to get them out, bussing them from point A to point B.”

Just yards down the road from the City Harbor nearly every shop has some kind of welcome message for the crowds in their windows “There was a lot of traffic headed out of town this morning,” Mary Grace Hammond says.

She owns one of the downtown businesses. “We really didn’t start seeing customers until about an hour after the blast off, and those were local customers,” Hammond says.

Hammond opened early Friday morning for the anticipated crowds.

She says she started stocking for the tournament a year ago. Other store owners did the same thing.

Friday didn’t bring nearly as many customers as were expected to downtown, but Hammond says the tournament is only beginning. “I’m very hopeful that tomorrow is a better day for us,” Hammond says.

Saturday Guntersville Police are expecting double the amount of crowds they saw Friday.

14 comments

  • Nuclear Mike says:

    Well…seems that the City of Guntersville forgot to tell everyone that the acutal “weigh-in” is in the City of BIRMINGHAM!!!

    NO wonder everyone left as the real entertainment is in Birmingham and not watching the boats launch and take-off to BIRMINGHAM!!!

    What a marketing lie to all of us!!!

  • Joshua says:

    I believe that we had to pay half of the prize money as well. Hopefully it will not be in vain or a pet project of our local Bassmaster. As a kid, I would go to them as they were very exciting but since nothing is really happening here except for the fishing they do not want us to interfere with them at all. This thing has been so over promoted and blown out of proportion that we will probably loose on the deal not gain. But I imagine there will be a bigger crowd but not close to the number they have told us they would be.

  • Bill Dance forever! says:

    I do agree the weigh in being all the way to Birmingham is not very appealing to me. Watch them fish here but drive 80 miles to see the official weigh in? Surely Guntersville had a place appropriate for a weigh in, even in doors! So, I am not planning on being a spectator for this production

    • Rags0491 says:

      Guntersville got the shaft on this deal. B’ham got the gold mine.
      What a fluke ! Guntersville’s loss, B’ham gain./

  • LarLin says:

    What a fluke!
    Birmingham got the gold mine, Guntersville got the shaft.
    I don’t understand this deal.
    Someone from city government, please explain this selling job to the
    citizens of Guntersville and the millions loss.

  • Frank says:

    Guntersville could use the armory or perhaps the High school facilities, the city and county already give so much for everyone else. the boat races, the state park, etc. so much we had years back the the Government took and placed elsewhere. We desperatly need funding for our county and cities.

  • jimmy says:

    Nuclear Mike your such a cry baby you never have any thing good to say you just cry cry cry grow up all ready

    • Nuclear Mike says:

      With all the criminals in local government being flushed out recently, who knows if this event is just another way to “siphon off” more taxpayer funds in some official’s pocket with such mis-representation of the Bassmaster’s event being an all local event!!!

  • SG says:

    Ok so obviously it’s a bummer that the weigh in is not in Guntersville, but it’s a huge honor for Guntersville/Marshall County to be able to host the Bassmaster Classic even if it is just for the fishing portion of the tournament. It’s a great opportunity for people of all ages to get outside and go enjoy the beautiful days we have been having as well as enjoy the sport. Events like this certainly make a difference in the community economically speaking but I think everyone is getting too wrapped up in the money driven, and political side of this. Fishing is about more than money, and politics.. you should try it sometime.

  • KB says:

    Well said SG! I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Nuclear Mike says:

      Agreed, so let’s take the professional money part OUT of our fishing fun and have a Guntersville City “Day of Fisihng” Event with NO fishiing professionals and no money to be made…just free fun times about our great sport of fishing on Guntersville lake!!!

  • Chris says:

    The city really missed the boat on this one. Let’s build a convention center on the property we own at Conners Island. I’m sure the business owners of our town would love to keep the traffic here….

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