FIU to host the Miss Universe Pageant

Come January, the University will host beauty queens from the all across the globe for the Miss Universe Pageant.

Business mogul Donald Trump announced on Thursday, Oct. 2 that the University would host the 63rd annual Miss Universe pageant, while the city of Doral will host various other pageant events.

Trump, who owns the beauty pageant and a golf course, resort and spa in Doral, had planned to bring the pageant to Doral, but turned to FIU’s arena when in need of a larger venue.

The event is scheduled for Jan. 25 at the FIU U.S. Century Bank Arena, and will be broadcasted to approximately 190 countries and territories. Although the pageant will take place in 2015, the winner will be crowned the 2014 Miss Universe.

Trump is also granting $150,000 in scholarships to first generation students and internship opportunities to the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

“Our students will gain valuable insight from this opportunity to intern with and learn from this world-class event,” said President Mark B. Rosenberg in a Oct. 2 press release. “I’m delighted that having the pageant on campus will also make it possible for our first generation students to receive scholarships and young people all over the world to be exposed to FIU.”

Though the pageant itself will take place on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, other events associated with the pageant will take place in the City of Doral.

“The real venue will be in FIU, but Doral will host all the beauty pageant [events] that they have here in Doral,” said Mayor Luigi Boria.

Boria had pledged to raise $2.5 million before knowing the exact location for the pageant, though it was understood that the city simply had no venue large enough to hold the event.

“I would also like to thank FIU,” said Boria. “Not having the venue in the city, I am proud to [have] another community partner like FIU.”

In September, when the city was deciding whether to help fund the pageant, Doral Vice Mayor Christi Fraga said she was against having the city and taxpayers contribute money to the lavish event.

The pageant has many other sponsors, including Baptist Health South Florida and Badia Spices, along with other local and iconic businesses. So far, they have raised over $1 million in funds to help cover the cost instead of footing the bill to the city.

The 2013 pageant, hosted in Moscow, Russia, was held in a state-of-the-art arena with a seating capacity of more than 7,000.

According to the FIU Athletics website, the USCBA has an overall seating capacity of 5,000.

There was slight concern about a schedule conflict between the pageant and the men’s basketball schedule.

The schedule previously listed a home matchup with Florida Atlantic University for Jan. 24, the day before the pageant. University Athletic Director Pete Garcia said the league understood that the big event would be taking place and agreed to push the game back to Jan. 27.

“Everybody wanted to make this happen for South Florida, so Florida Atlantic and Conference-USA said, ‘Yeah, whatever we have to do’,” he said.

The Panthers are scheduled to visit FAU earlier in the month.

As a “World’s Ahead” University, hosting the pageant will gain attention from many across the globe in the next few months.

“We’re gonna get worldwide exposure. They’re running a commercial for us during the event,” said Garcia. “This is great exposure for an international university in an international event.”

Since 1960, Miami has hosted the pageant 15 times—more than any other host city in the world. Miami wanted to host the pageant in the past, but lost its bid in 2013 to Russia.

Two years later, it was Doral’s turn.

“Even as one of the newest cities in Miami, Doral is a premier place to live, work and play due to its beautiful lifestyle and entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization.

Shugart continued, “Since the Greater Miami area is a melting pot of people from all over the world, our contestants will feel right at home as they showcase what the area has to offer. I cannot think of a better backdrop in January than sunny Miami for our global telecast.”

About the Author

Patrick Chalvire
: Radio Host for Panther Sports Talk Live. Assistant Sports Director for The Beacon. Majoring in Communication Arts. Sports fan and aspiring anchor.

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