ATLANTIC CITY — Miss America hasn’t gotten enough of Atlantic City.
The competition that returned to its birthplace last year amid much local fanfare will be back again with the finals broadcast on ABC from Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, Sept. 14, the Miss America Organization announced Friday.
Three days of preliminary competition, Sept. 9 to 11, will precede the finals. The Show Us Your Shoes Parade will return Saturday, Sept. 13. The schedule announced during a news conference at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel mirrored the 2013 schedule of events.
Miss America Organization Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell said this year will mark the 60th anniversary of televised Miss America broadcasts. That anniversary will be celebrated during the show.
Haskell, who has repeatedly touted the move from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, said Friday that he was asked during an event with the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce earlier in the day if the organization would ever consider a return to Las Vegas.
“My answer was simply, ‘No,’” Haskell said.
The Miss America Organization asked to be released from its contract here in 2005 and later found a new home in Las Vegas. Last year, however, the state orchestrated a deal to lure Miss America back.
That deal includes $7.3 million from state authorities over three years, discounted hotel rooms and waived rental rates for competition space. The contract with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the Atlantic City Alliance guarantees that the competition will remain in Atlantic City through at least 2015.
Newly sworn-in Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian enthusiastically welcomed the competition Friday, stating that he was proud to be serving as mayor during the reign of Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, the first Indian-American Miss America. Guardian ran a campaign largely based on embracing Atlantic City’s diversity.
“I’ll be thrilled to be walking down that Boardwalk,” Guardian said, referring to the Miss America parade. “I hope to find a child of every nation that is currently in our school system to proudly wave a flag and walk down with me.”
Guardian also made a public call for the Miss America Organization to consider moving its corporate offices back into Atlantic City. The organization previously was based out of the Sheraton, but in 2007 moved its offices to Linwood, where they remained even as the competition took place in Las Vegas.
“The red carpet is certainly rolled out to you. We hope to cut the ribbon for those offices in the near future,” Guardian said.
Asked about the possibility of a move, Haskell said that could occur under the right circumstances.
“If someone were to make us the right kind of offer, we’d love to be here in the middle of the action,” Haskell said.
Atlantic City Alliance CEO Liza Cartmell praised the organization for helping to return civic pride to the city, saying there is a “heartfelt connection” to Miss America that’s deeply embedded in the region.
Tickets for the competition will go on sale in the spring. The sale date will be announced on the Miss America Organization’s website, missamerica.org
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