by Lisa Tome
Cecil County has landed a really big fish.
The Bassmaster Elite is coming to the county next summer.
That's what County Economic Director Lisa Webb and Sandy Turner from Cecil Tourism reported to county council members last week.
They provided a preview of the event by the numbers. The estimated economic and press impact is $2 million. Anglers that were in Philadelphia for the 2014 Bassmaster Elite began visiting the county in August to scope out the area. The attendance at the fishing tournament is expected to be 10,000-30,000 people. As a complement to the fishing tournament, a two-day festival will be held.
The regional platinum partners for that event are Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, Town of North East, and the Maryland Lottery. The Bassmaster Elite Committee is comprised of the tournament organizer, retired Bassmaster Elite anglers, the North East Chamber, local business representatives, the Maryland Office of Sports, officials from the Town of North East, and representatives from Cecil tourism, economic development, and parks and recreation.
A sponsorship drive is currently underway and will run from November of this year until May 2015. Event planning will begin in November. The following committees will be established: management team, transportation/parking, safety/security/emergency service, marketing/media/public relations, weigh-in, finance, grounds, festival, volunteers, and hospitality.
Councilwoman Diana Broomell said she wants a weekend free for boats from the local tolls.