BATON ROUGE, LA — Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe Organization, along with current Miss USA Erin Brady, announced Thursday on NBC's Today, the Miss USA 2014 competition will be held in Baton Rouge on June 8.
The Baton Rouge River Center will be the pageant's venue. The contest will air on NBC from 7-10 p.m.
"We had about 12 places that were fighting for the rights," said Trump on Today, "and we just decided that's sort of the home of pageantry, it's sort of the home of the whole beauty thing."
Previously announced plans to move this year's pageant from Las Vegas to the Miami area suburb of Doral, Fla., fell through after its city council did not approve a resolution to allow the city manager to work with Miss Universe organizers to produce the event. Moving the pageant from Las Vegas was still an option, and Baton Rouge saw the benefit. "Usually we go to Las Vegas," Trump said. "We never fail in Las Vegas. It's great, but we thought we'd move it."
This year's pageant marks the sixth time a Louisiana city has hosted. Miss USA 1997 and 1998 and Miss Teen USA 1998 and 1999 were held in Shreveport. Miss Teen USA 2005 was held in Baton Rouge only a few weeks prior to Hurricane Katrina's landfall in Louisiana. This prompted Trump and the Miss Universe officials not to hold the 2006 competition in the city, which at the time was still recovering from the storm.
Fifty-one contestants, one from each state and the District of Columbia, will vie for the title and to represent the USA at the Miss Universe competiton held later in the year.
Competing for Louisiana will be 22 year-old Brittany Guidry of Houma. Previously, she competed for Louisiana at Miss Teen USA in 2009, where she came in fourth runner-up. Competing for Mississippi will be 22 year-old Chelsea Reardon of Southaven.