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Waddington approves another B.A.S.S. tourney


WADDINGTON – After a few months of negotiations, village board members have approved a contract with Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society to host the 2014 B.A.S.S. Northeastern Divisional.

The Northeastern B.A.S.S. Nation divisional in Waddington is already being advertised nationally, but the village held off on passing a resolution in December to sign the contract until the terms of the contract could be negotiated with B.A.S.S.

The changes would allow organizers to ensure the success of future tournaments, village officials said.

Trustee William E. Dashnaw said in December that B.A.S.S. did a “less than stellar job” promoting Waddington during the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament. The tournament, which was featured on ESPN 2 and ESPN Classic, did not adequately advertise Waddington, he said.

Village officials also wanted to make sure the contract included a clause that would allow the village to fundraise or charge for certain events during the divisional. Previously, only B.A.S.S. sponsors were allowed near the main stage and all of the events were free to the public.

“I wasn’t for this last time because it did not specifically say we could charge,” Mr. Dashnaw said. “Now, we can’t charge for their event, but we could charge for the festival and concerts. Earlier I mentioned that you will need to generate revenue from any events that you have in order for you to fund the 2015 Bass Elite Tournament. Because with the Elite Series, once again, you are going to find you can’t charge for the events.”

The $223,000 Elite Series budget was secured almost entirely through grants, donations and in-kind services.

The village’s committee is also looking to take over the Taste and Talents of the North Country Festival. The festival was previously organized by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

“Then we would be able to keep that revenue so that we could generate revenue for both B.A.S.S. events,” Mayor Janet Otto-Cassada said. “That made an enormous amount of money last year.”

While the event is not as well known as the Elite tournament held last year, it will by no means be smaller in scale, according to village officials.

The Northeastern divisional, slated for Sept. 24 to 26, will bring close to 250 anglers – over 100 more than the Elite Series – who are looking to compete in the 2014 B.A.S.S. National Championship to the village and surrounding townships.

The host fee for the divisional is $7,500 – over $50,000 less than the Elite Series Tournament.

The village has yet to calculate on the total cost of the tournament.

“The budget depends on some variables,” Mr. Dashnaw said. “There are a lot of other things that will come into play there once you decided what you’re going to do. I need to know what it is that you are actually going to do. If you’re going to have a festival or music. One of the big-ticket items last time was music. That’s something you can charge for.”

A meeting for volunteers interested in helping to organize the divisional will be held at 6 p.m. today in the municipal building, 48 Maple St.

“We’ll need as many volunteers as we can get,” Mrs. Otto-Cassada said.

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