FLW Outdoors® and the Pittsburgh Local Organizing Committee announced Thursday that Pittsburgh will play host to the world’s richest bass-fishing championship, the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol, July 30-Aug. 2, 2009, along with the National Guard Junior World Championship July 31-Aug. 1, 2009.
The Forrest Wood Cup, widely considered bass fishing’s crown jewel, will be held on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers, pitting the sport’s biggest names against one another for a $1 million top award.
The National Guard Junior World Championship will be held on the Allegheny River in nearby Kittanning, Pa.
“We’re delighted to have the prestige and excitement of the Forrest Wood Cup coming to Pittsburgh,” said Ken Komoroski, an attorney with the Pittsburgh office of K&L Gates and member of the local organizing committee. “As a result of years of water quality improvement efforts, substantial populations of smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass can now be found throughout the three rivers. Western Pennsylvania is now a world-class destination for recreation and tourism, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to showcase the beauty of our rivers to the nation.”
Komoroski co-chairs the local organizing committee with Davitt Woodwell, vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The committee also includes Craig Davis, vice president of VisitPittsburgh.
“We’re delighted that anglers and fans from across the country will be traveling to Pittsburgh – the City of Bridges – for this world-class event,” said VisitPittsburgh’s Davis. “These fans, as well as FLW Outdoors, can look forward to a community that will welcome them with enthusiasm. It is their hospitality and support that will make this one of the best events ever!”
Pittsburgh hosted the 2005 Bassmaster Classic, where Kevin VanDam won $200,000 out of a $563,000 purse. The winner of the Forrest Wood Cup can pocket as much as $1 million out of a $2 million purse.
“This is clearly the biggest game in the country and, in fact, is the largest fishing tournament in the world,” Komorski said, “and we are honored to be selected as the host.”
The historic 2007 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., where Scott Suggs became the sport’s first $1 million winner, drew a record crowd of more than 60,000 fans over the course of four days, and the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., last month drew even larger crowds.
“The Forrest Wood Cup is more than a championship tournament,” said FLW Outdoors President and CEO Charlie Evans. “It’s more than an outdoor show. The Forrest Wood Cup is a weeklong festival that engages the entire community. From young anglers showcasing their talents in the National Guard Junior World Championship, to promising rookies testing their mettle against the sport’s legends, to the richest payout in all of fantasy sports, the Forrest Wood Cup showcases everything that makes bass fishing the greatest sport in the world, and we are honored to be visiting Pittsburgh.”
The Forrest Wood Cup will feature a free Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with daily giveaways for children 14 and under. A new Ranger boat will also be given away to a member of the audience during the final weigh-in. Daily weigh-ins and a free concert will be held in Mellon Arena.
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup is broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area. FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits. FLW Outdoors also took fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million in cash and prizes.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com. To plan your trip to Pittsburgh for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup July 30-Aug. 2, 2009, go to visitpittsburgh.org.