River Center getting million dollar makeover for Miss USA - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

River Center getting million dollar makeover for Miss USA

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

In six weeks, Miss USA 2014 will be crowned in Baton Rouge.

The city-parish council has approved one million dollars worth of improvements to the River Center.

Managers said those funds will stretch far beyond the pageant stage.

On June 8, some of the most beautiful women in the country will take center stage at the River Center arena. That puts the capital city under a bright national spotlight. It is exciting news, especially for General Manager Todd Mitchell.

"We were on a national stage during football season. But this is a national stage with a completely different audience and people all around the world will watch this event," Mitchell said.

The 37-year-old facility has got to shine. That includes painting, polishing floors, making repairs, and bringing technology up to the speed of the 21st century, in just six short weeks.

"You've got to get in. It's a challenge, let me tell you."

The biggest improvement will be to the arena's Wifi network. Mitchell said the upgrade will allow virtually every person who attends the pageant to connect to the outside world through their smart phones.

"Our current network can handle about 500 people at the same time. We're going to be expanding that to be able to host 5,000 people."

Mitchell said it was one of the requirements set by the Miss USA Pageant, but it is an upgrade that will benefit Baton Rouge in the long run.

"It'll expand past this event and help us market other events we have not been able to bid on certain events because we just couldn't fulfill their network."

He said the possibilities are endless, once the star of the riverfront looks and feels like a million bucks.

Mitchell said, to date, there are only on thousand tickets remaining.

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