The James L. Knight Center Complex is a contemporary entertainment and convention complex located in Downtown Miami, Florida. Located within the Miami Central Business District, the venue opened in 1982. The complex is named after famed newspaper publisher, James L. Knight. Since its opening, the complex has hosted many business, entertainment and political events. Annually, it hosts Miami Dade College graduation ceremonies. It also hosted Miss Universe in 1984 and 1985, Miss USA in 1986 and Miss Teen USA in 1985 and the OTI Festival in 1989.
The complex originally was built to be an exhibition hall for the downtown Miami area, to attract business conferences, trade shows and conventions. Previous conventions were held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. However, the business atmosphere for Miami Beach began to decline. City officials saw this as an opportunity to claim the market for the blossoming downtown business district. The space, known as James L. Knight Convention Center, was the project of the City of Miami. During its construction, the University of Miami sought a sports arena for its revitalized basketball program. Newspaper publisher James L. Knight donated over one million dollars towards the cost of the arena. The space became known as the University of Miami Auditorium.
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