McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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September 16, 2013

McAlester, Lake Eufaula Association, net B.A.S.S. Championship

McALESTER — The city of McAlester and the Lake Eufaula Association has hooked the B.A.S.S. Nation’s 2014 Central Divisional Championships.

Kathy Wall, who is the administrative assistant at the Southeast Expo Center, said she received word Friday that the two were successful in landing the event.

“B.A.S.S. Nation has chosen the city of  McAlester to be the host city,” Walls said. “They will be fishing out of Lake Eufaula.”

The one-week fishing competition is set for the first week of June 2014.

“We will have 128 anglers from nine different states” coming to compete in the tournament, Wall said. Whoever wins the Central Divisional championship will qualify for the B.A.S.S. Masters Championship tournament, she said.

Anglers from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas. Mississippi, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri are expected  to travel to the McAlester and Eufaula area to compete in the tournament.

McAlester City Manager Pete Stasiak expressed his enthusiasm at the news and what it can mean for McAlester.

“We’re going to be the host city for all the hotels and motels,” Stasiak said. “This is going to be tremendous for our hotels, motels, restaurants and shopping.”

While the championship event is set for June, the impact is expected to be felt before then.

“There will be anglers coming in two or three months in advance to scout Lake Eufaula,” Walls said.

Connie Morris, of the Lake Eufaula Association, accompanied by Wall, spoke to the  McAlester City Council during the council’s Aug. 27 meeting at City Hall to ask the council to support efforts to land the tournament. City councilors voted to support the effort by providing $10,000 for a dinner at the Southeast Expo Center.

However, that didn’t necessarily mean the city and the Lake Eufaula Association had landed the championship competition. It simply kept they were still in the running.

Wall said she didn’t receive confirmation until Friday that the efforts had been successful.

Now that McAlester is the host city, the dinner is

expected to be held June 3.

“We will cater for 250,” Wall said. “It’s for anglers, families, VIPs, media, entourage and staff.”

Wall is also enthusiastic about the impact the Central Division Championship will have on the McAlester and Eufaula areas next summer.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful for our city,” she said.

Stasiak too, expressed his elation at the landing the championship fishing event for the area.

“We knew this was going to be a tremendous opportunity for out community and our partnership with the Lake Eufaula Association,” he said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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