Miss America 2018

The Miss America Organization announced Wednesday the 2019 Miss America competition will air live on ABC on Sept. 9 at Boardwalk Hall.

ATLANTIC CITY — The Miss America Organization announced Wednesday the 2019 Miss America Competition will return to Boardwalk Hall and air live on ABC networks on Sept. 9. The news took city officials and Miss America supporters by surprise.

The scholarship competition begins Sept. 5, with three nights of preliminaries, followed by the Miss America Parade on Sept. 8. The final night’s two-hour telecast will begin at 9 p.m.

The Wednesday announcement was a welcome surprise after months of uncertainty, officials said.

Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam told The Press of Atlantic city on Wednesday he had not been briefed on all the information surrounding the 2019 Miss America Competition.

It also was the first time Miss New Jersey Co-Executive Director Donna Ayres learned of the competition dates.

“They (The Miss America Organization) haven’t announced the details of when contestants will arrive, but we are obviously thrilled that we now have firm dates and can plan accordingly,” Ayres said.

“This is exciting for the city,” said Steel Pier sales and marketing director Sharon Franz.

The Steel Pier hosts a “Night on the Pier” event for the state titleholders and has been featured during the filmed competitor introductions during the national broadcast.

“A lot of people that travel with the contestants come to Steel Pier and the Boardwalk. They just rave about the city,” Franz said. “We are more than happy to do whatever the Miss America Organization needs and keep our working relationship”.

Jim Wynkoop, general manager of Boardwalk Hall, said he and his team at the venue are excited to work with the new leadership group for the Miss America Organization.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship and moving into a new year and new event,” Wynkoop said.

Wynkoop said Boardwalk Hall stagehands and crew will all be a part of the pageant, along with whatever additional crew is provided from the Miss America Organization.

With the pageant taking place Sept. 9 and the Professional Bull Rider rodeo taking place at Boardwalk Hall on Sept. 15, Wynkoop said the hall will have a hectic week, but they will be ready, he added.

“We have every expectation to accommodate both and make sure we’re ready to go and do everything we need to do for Miss America on the ninth and get ready for PBR coming the following weekend,” he said.

The announcement came months after emails surfaced between former Miss America CEO and Executive Chairman Sam Haskell, board members and employees in which they used crude and vulgar language to describe past contestants’ weight and sexual history.

The scandal led to uncertainty about the future of the competition and to the resignation of Haskell, Chief Operating Officer Josh Randle, board Chairwoman Lynn Weidner and several others.

Last week, the organization announced the Miss America Organization’s top leadership positions will be filled by women who have competed for the crown.

“The 2019 competition marks the dawning of a new day for the Miss America Organization. This year’s show will highlight women from all walks of life who are advancing the message of female empowerment through their efforts in the areas of scholarship, talent and social impact. Now with a historic, all-female leadership team paving the way for both the Miss America Organization and the Miss America Foundation, a new era of progressiveness, inclusiveness and empowerment has begun,” the organization said in a press release.

Tickets for the preliminaries and final competition will go on sale in June and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Staff Writer Maxwell Reil contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-272-7286 LCarroll@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPress_LC

Staff Writer

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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