The 2018 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants are expected to make a big impact in Shreveport-Bossier — not just monetarily, but through social media as well.
Both pageants will be held in May in Shreveport’s Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. It is the first time the two pageants, normally held at different times of the year, will be run concurrently.
“Not only does it bring a significant direct economic impact, it also has long-term benefits because of all the media coverage, the television, the radio, the social media,” Stacy Brown, president of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, told the Bossier City Council on Tuesday.
The Miss USA pageant will be shown live in about 70 countries worldwide, with an expected reach of 40 million social media impressions, Brown said.
“The numbers are really staggering as far as the number of people we will reach with our message,” she said.
That impact will start a week and a half to two weeks prior to the pageants. While in town, contestants are expected to spend time going out and about in the community, Brown said.
“They’ll be doing things like visiting schools and hospitals,” Brown said. “They’ll be going to special attractions and getting to do some of their filming, as well as a lot of their social media while they’re out and about in the two parishes and two cities.”
Locally, the economic impact is expected to total about $4.5 to $5 million, Brown said.
“One of the reasons they love Louisiana is our film tax credits, and to apply for those film tax credits they have to spend in-state and verify their in-state spend,” Brown said. “When they were in Baton Rouge in 2015, the spend was almost $4.3 million with just Miss USA — that did not include the Miss Teen USA pageant.”
While the pageants are being held in Shreveport, Bossier City will also be a key player in hosting related events.
The Miss Teen USA preliminary pageant will be held May 16 at the Horseshoe Riverdome, and the Miss USA contestants will be housed at Margaritaville Resort and Casino.
The Bossier City Council unanimously introduced an ordinance Tuesday that will appropriate $50,000 from the Hotel/Motel Taxes Fund to support the pageants.
“It’s really something that couldn’t have come without the community really embracing it,” Brown said.
The Miss USA pageant, hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, is scheduled for May 21 at 7 p.m., airing live on FOX.
Shreveport native Lauren Vizza will represent the state as Miss Louisiana USA 2018.
Miss Teen USA will be held May 17 and broadcast by the Reelz Network.
Shreveport hosted the Miss USA pageant in 1997 and 1998. The city also hosted the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
The Miss USA pageant has been held annually since 1952. The winner goes on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant.