Miss America Final

Nia Imani Franklin, Miss New York, is congratulated Sept. 9, 2018, after being crowned Miss America on the final night of the competition at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The next Miss America will likely be crowned in a casino in the dead of winter, not in Boardwalk Hall in the summer.

The Miss America Organization is in negotiations to move the pageant’s venue to an Atlantic City casino, though no deal has been reached, according to a source close to the group. In April, The Press of Atlantic City confirmed the Miss America Competition would not be held at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, the pageant’s Atlantic City home since the 1940s.

Another change to the almost 100-year-old pageant: It will now be held in January, according to the source.

The Miss America Organization did not respond to a request for comment.

The competition to crown Miss America 2020 will be broadcast live on NBC, the Miss America Organization announced in a joint news release with NBCUniversal on Wednesday.

The pageant’s move to NBC comes after the broadcasting contract with ABC expired after the 2019 competition.

However, the Comcast-owned network also airs “Sunday Night Football,” which has routinely eclipsed the pageant’s viewership, necessitating a change in Miss America’s traditional time slot.

Last year, the Sept. 9 “Sunday Night Football” game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears had 19.74 million viewers, according to Nielsen Ratings. The two-hour 2019 Miss America Competition, which went live about a half hour after the football game on ABC, garnered about 4.34 million viewers.

Sources cited the television broadcast partnership as the first hurdle for the organization to move forward.

In 2005, after having issues retaining a network broadcaster and dealing with financial straits, the Miss America pageant moved to Las Vegas for an eight-year stint in a casino showroom. The pageant also moved the competition date to January, crowning Miss America 2006 Jennifer Barry at the beginning of her reigning year.

While in Las Vegas, the pageant was held in the 7,000-seat-capacity Theater for the Performing Arts near the former Aladdin Casino, now the Planet Hollywood Casino.

It was the first time the MAO partnered with a casino venue rather than a city for primary hosting. The Miss America pageant returned to Atlantic City in 2013, largely due to a state subsidy that provided more than $20 million for six years of the pageant, along with thousands of free or discounted rooms, suites and transportation.

When the CRDA did not renew the subsidy contract following the Miss America 2019 Competition, many stakeholders thought the MAO would look to Atlantic City’s casinos for aid.

Former Ocean Casino Resort owner the late Bruce Deifik told The Press of Atlantic City in December he offered hotel space and Ovation Hall to the pageant.

The theater can hold more than 5,000 people and was designed to be reconfigured, with seating options including all-sitting, standing in the front and sitting in the back, banquet seating and seating in the round for UFC bouts.

The casino is under new management. Ocean Casino Resort declined to comment.

Holding the pageant later than its traditional September date would push the competition into the city’s slower offseason.

According to hotel occupancy information from 2017, 96% of hotels were occupied in July, August and September but dropped to about 80% occupied in the winter months.Take a look at the 2019 Miss New Jersey contestants(tncms-asset)acdbe98a-4915-11e9-b583-00163ec2aa77[2](/tncms-asset)