TOWN OF MASSENA CANCELS 2020 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Out of an abundance of caution for the citizens of Massena and the North Country, the Massena Town Board announced that their schedule for all outside tournaments has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision was made after consideration of the risks that could be placed on the local areas in and around Massena, as anglers would be traveling into the community and staying at least one night for these competitive events.
Town Supervisor Steve O’Shaughnessy stated, “Our expectations were to host tournaments during 2020 that would bring economic advantage to Massena and draw visitors to our area. It is extremely difficult to count on economic impact when we also need to insure that we are not burdening our community with an increased health risk in the North Country. Decisions we make here in Massena can have a significant public safety impact on other communities as well. While we are not experiencing the same spikes in case numbers as we are seeing at the national level, we wish to err on the side of caution and insure that we are not creating opportunities for more cases to occur locally. We want to see these events come to Massena in a big way and we plan for a full return of public participation in 2021.”
According to Don Meissner, Tournament Director for the town, this decision to forego all of the remaining tournaments was a difficult one for him and the town board. He said, “The town has worked tirelessly to build interest in the community and the fishing resources which we have. We never anticipated that we would be halting our efforts to bring anglers to Massena, but this pandemic is creating so much difficulty with health related concerns that we felt it would be unwise to embark on generating activities that might place our community at greater risk. We fully expect and anticipate the return of these tournaments to Massena in 2021 and in future. “
No decision has been made as yet for the seventh and final tournament, the annual Big Bass Blowout, which is the town’s local tournament, held every first weekend in October and which draws local anglers to vie for cash prizes over the two-day event. The decision to hold that event will be made later into the summer, as the metrics of the pandemic are evaluated by the town board.