Arena concerns keep Miss Universe pageant from coming to Honolulu

The city says negotiations to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Hawaii have fallen apart, in part because of concerns contest organizers had about the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena.

The city was contacted back in May about possibly hosting the pageant, which is scheduled for November.

It agreed to allow the pageant to use the arena for two weeks and the concert hall for one week.

However, pageant organizers say the arena’s structural capacity for suspending overhead equipment above the stage area was insufficient for the show’s needs, and therefore Honolulu would no longer be considered as a site for the pageant.

The city contends that weight capacity in the arena was not a limiting factor for shows like Bruno Mars, Janet Jackson, and Mariah Carey.

We’ve reached out to the Miss Universe organization for further comment but have not heard back.

This year marks 20 years since Hawaii’s own Brook Lee was crowned Miss Universe. She provided arguably one of the pageant’s most memorial moments when she answered the question: “If there were no rules in your life for one day and you could be outrageous, what would you do?”

Lee’s answer without hesitation: “I would eat everything in the world. You do not understand. I will eat everything twice.”

The following is a statement from Guy Kaulukukui, director of the city Department of Enterprise Services:

“The Department of Enterprise Services was contacted by representatives of the Miss Universe Pageant in May 2017 regarding their interest in holding their next pageant, scheduled for November 2017, in the Neal S. Blaisdell Center arena. For the past two months we have worked closely with the pageant’s local and national representatives to accommodate their needs for the event and the days leading up to the actual show. As a result, we arranged for their use of the arena for two weeks and the concert hall for one week in November.

“In recent days, it was determined by the pageant that the arena’s…

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