This Miss Universe Organization confirmed today that the Miss USA pageant will be held in Baton Rouge on July 12.
The organization has been silent on the announcement, as rumors swirled and were eventually confirmed last week by Mayor-President Kip Holden that the event would return to the Capital City for the second year in a row.
“The 2014 MISS USA Pageant delivered an unprecedented amount of national and international exposure for Baton Rouge, taking its reputation for tourism and business opportunities beyond the local level,” said Donald Trump, who owns the organization, in a statement. “This year’s pageant will be no different. Continuing our partnership guarantees another sold-out show that will provide Louisiana’s capital with another three hours of primetime television coverage.”
The event will be broadcast from the Baton Rouge River Center and the contestants will be housed at the L’Auberge Baton Rouge Casino and Hotel.
“We are elated that the pageant is returning to Baton Rouge. Visitors, contestants and the nation alike saw the uniqueness of Baton Rouge’s attractions, food and culture last year,” said Paul Arrigo, president and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge. “With so much more to see and do in Baton Rouge, we cannot wait to showcase everything else our great city has to offer.”
Last year, Miss USA BR Productions received an incentive package of $365,000. It also received another $1.25 million in tax credits, awarded two weeks ago.
This year, the production company is being offered a package of $545,000, and it applied for the same amount in tax credits, which are often swapped out for cash by out-of-state film companies.
The incentive package comes from a combination of funds from the city-parish and state government.
“Last year’s pageant was great exposure for Louisiana. We showed off Louisiana’s unique culture, abundant leisure opportunities and delicious seafood,” said Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne in a statement. “We are excited to have the Miss Universe Organization back in 2015 to share our one-of-a-kind hospitality with the contestants and the pageant’s millions of television viewers.”
Dardenne’s office is putting forth $50,000 for the second year in a row toward the incentive package.