The Miss America 2014 Pageant will be held in Atlantic City this September and a new three year deal has been signed with ABC!
It is official, the Miss America Pageant is returning to Atlantic City, N.J., after 7 years being held in Las Vegas. The decision was announced at a news conferenceThursday in the Jersey Shore resort.
The pageant was founded by an Atlantic City business group trying to extend the summer season into September. The first was held in 1921 with the winner, Margaret Gorman of Washington getting a $100 prize. With the arrival of television, the pageant became a major national event, broadcast live to millions of people. But ratings peaked in the early 1960s and dropped sharply around 2000, and ABC decided to drop the broadcast in 2004.
The first Las Vegas pageant was held in January 2006, another break with tradition. Lou Barthold, one of the executive directors of the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation, called the move a “big disappointment.” He said he went out to Las Vegas for last year’s pageant, and it just did not have the same feel.
“In Las Vegas, you were lucky to see anybody you knew other than going to the show,” he said. “It’s so large, so vast, with all the casinos out there.”
Below is the press release from MAO.
February 14, 2013
Dear State Executive Directors,
We are so very proud to share our excitement with you as we announce the return of the Miss America Pageant to her home in Atlantic City this September, 2013!
This monumental news will be officially announced today in Atlantic City, New Jersey along with state and local officials who are delivering this historic announcement. The Miss America Organization has reached an agreement to bring our beloved tradition back to its home where it first began on the sandy beach of Atlantic City in 1921.
“We are so thrilled to bring Miss America back to her home in Atlantic City. Throughout the decades, Miss America has evolved into an incredible organization because of your efforts and those of your volunteers who have remained committed to supporting our organization which enables over 12,000 young women every year to enter and participate in this outstanding scholarship program. Today, Miss America remains an iconic symbol and our roots have always been connected to our history in Atlantic City. This proud heritage, so rich in history is now our future as we prepare for the most exciting television event ever for Miss America with the support of your organization and our network partner, ABC. We will also be announcing a new 3 year deal with our network broadcast partner, ABC! The return to Atlantic City will allow us to showcase our beloved Miss America event in the destination where it all began,” stated Sam Haskell, III.
Art McMaster added, “We are truly grateful to the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie and the Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno who along with the local agencies in Atlantic City came together to create a mutually beneficial partnership to welcome Miss America back. This is a monumental milestone for our organization to return to the Jersey shore and prepare for the next chapter in our organization’s history. As we depart Las Vegas, we sincerely thank our friends at Planet Hollywood who have hosted us for the last eight years. In addition, we thank the City of Las Vegas, who has helped us achieve the best television ratings in eight years. As we now look to the future and bring Miss America home…we are excited to begin a new era with Atlantic City and our beloved tradition.”
We realize you will have many questions and we will look forward to answering them in the weeks ahead as we finalize the details and exact date for September. The agreement reached, is a multi-year agreement to bring the pageant back after an eight year absence in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Our award winning television producer, Anthony Eaton and his company, Tall Pony Productions who have produced the live event in Las Vegas for the last six years, will produce this memorable homecoming event for ABC live in Atlantic City!
As we begin to prepare for this incredible event, we know we can count on your support to make this move a successful one. Although two pageants in one year may be a challenge, we are confident that as a family we can all work together to create one of the most memorable events in our pageant’s history.
We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to you for your continued support.
Sam Haskell, III
Chairman of the Board
President / CEO