published Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Kimball hopes to build on fishing event success

By Ryan Lewis

KIMBALL, Tenn. — After hosting the Bass Federation’s national championship tournament in April, city administrators hope to bring similar events to the town soon.

Kimball Mayor David Jackson said he’s been approached by American Bass Anglers in Athens, Ala., and FLW Outdoors in Benton, Ky., about the town hosting their upcoming fishing tournaments.

City aldermen last week unanimously agreed to submit a host committee application to American Bass Anglers.

Officials said that tournament would get under way in September 2012, and nearly 400 anglers would stay in Kimball for the weeklong event.

If selected, Kimball will have to pay a $6,000 hosting fee, but city leaders said the recent Bass Federation tournament proved that fee will generate large revenues for the town.

“It looks like it has great potential for a throwback [to Kimball] on taxes and revenue,” Alderman Mark Payne said.

Officials estimate Kimball’s Bass Federation tournament buy-in of $10,000 generated more than $300,000 in revenue for the town.

“If they come here, they’ve got to find a place to sleep,” Alderman Jerry Don Case said. “If they’ve got to stay here, they’ve got to eat.”

Jackson said the Bass Federation was very impressed with Kimball, but even more so with its residents. Now word is starting to spread, he said.

“People walked up to them at Walmart, talked to them and asked about the tournament,” he said. “They just couldn’t believe how hospitable our folks in Kimball were to them. They were overwhelmed by that.”

Even though hosting these types of tournaments demands a great deal of work and organization from the city, Jackson said, the benefits to the town can be immense.

Officials said Kimball will continue talks with FLW Outdoors about the possibility of hosting one of its tournaments, as well.

“[FLW Outdoors] is really interested in hosting a tournament here sometime in the near future,” Jackson said. “We may land that tournament, too.”

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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