Miss Tennessee USA wants larger venue than Clarksville has.
Clarksville could lose out on the Miss Tennessee USA Pageant in the future due to this city's lack of an events center.
Next month, both the Miss and Teen competition finals for the event will be held in our city — as they have since 1999. But with the contract with Clarksville expiring, pageant officials are indicating they might be looking for a new host next year. And the make or break point could come down to this community's lack of a facility with enough seating.
"The number of contestants and the number of guests have grown tremendously," said Kim Greenwood, executive producer of the pageant. "We need to be able to host the pageant in a facility where we do not have to turn away guests for lack of seats."
Clarksville has been hosting the event at the Austin Peay State University Music/Mass Communications theater, which seats about 600 people.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council has been advocating for a Multi-Purpose Events Center, and the pageant's hesitancy over committing to Clarksville as the host in future years lends more weight to the EDC's position.
In 2005, estimates were that the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contests brought in $146,000 in direct spending in the community.
Beyond the obvious monetary benefits that such events bring to the community, visitors who get a good impression of Clarksville can become goodwill ambassadors when they return to their own hometowns. Positive word-of-mouth can make for very effective public relations.
An events center barely came up as a topic during the August elections. It ought to be debated more in the city races.
Without a full airing of the issue, people might never be fully informed of what is at stake here.
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