What to Know
- After several decades, the Miss America Competition will no longer be held at Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk Hall.
- The contract between Miss America and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority expired last year.
- The MAO is now seeking a new venue and host city though a spokesperson says it's possible the pageant will remain in Atlantic City.
After several decades, the Miss America Competition will no longer be held at Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk Hall, the organization announced Wednesday.
"Both [the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority] and the Miss America Organization (“MAO”) agree it is too expensive to produce the event in Boardwalk Hall,” a spokesperson for Miss America told NBC10.
The competition had been held at Boardwalk Hall from 1940 to 2004 then moved to Las Vegas for eight years before returning to Atlantic City in 2013. The three-year, $12 million contract between the pageant and CRDA expired after the 2019 competition.
City and state officials expressed concern last December that Atlantic City might not be getting enough bang for its buck in sponsoring the pageant.
Under the development authority’s previous contract with the pageant, Atlantic City was supposed to receive some benefits that were never delivered, according to the Press of Atlantic City, including a cut to the city during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve telecast.
The Miss America Organization is seeking a venue with at least 3,000 seats. Boardwalk Hall has 12,000 seats but many remained empty during preliminary competition nights, and "seat fillers" were recruited to occupy chairs during the nationally televised finale, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
A new host city has not yet been announced. In return for financial and marketing help, the Miss America Organization is offering to promote the host city in national news conferences, during the TV broadcast of the pageant, in a spot on its website, and in a full-page ad in the Miss America Competition magazine. Miss America would also serve as a spokeswoman for the host city.
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“CRDA has told city leaders and MAO it wants to keep the competition in Atlantic City and has been actively helping MAO explore alternative venues,” the Miss America spokesperson wrote. “MAO is also exploring other cities as well. When the MAO Board of Directors has reviewed all of the proposals, MAO will make a public announcement.”