Next year's CMA Awards show will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, officials announced Tuesday (Oct. 5). CMA executives and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg confirmed the one-time move from Nashville during a press conference in New York City. The show will take place Nov. 15, 2005.
In a press release, Bloomberg said New York City is committed
to attracting major events that have never taken place in the nation's top media market.
"The Country Music Association
is a true pioneer in the music industry, having successfully established country music as a leading genre, and we're going
to take this event to a whole new level," the mayor said. "New York City has a proven track record of hosting the biggest
and most-watched events around the globe."
Taking the awards show to New York will achieve the CMA's goal of raising
national and international awareness of country music, according to Maureen J. Reidy, president of NYC Big Events, an organization
formed to attract major events to the city. "Hosting the CMA Awards in New York City will generate global media attention
and help us reach large populations of potential visitors who will see our city in a whole new light," she said.
from the actual awards show, to be broadcast on CBS-TV, the CMA will attempt to create a larger presence in New York City
through a series of events leading up to the main event at Madison Square Garden. Billed as "Country Takes New York City,"
the initiative will give New Yorkers a taste of country music through promotional activities involving a wide range of local
institutions, including Broadway and the fashion industry.
In the press release, CMA board president Kix Brooks noted,
"We are taking country music to the street. Our goal is to be present in every corner, every club, everywhere you turn. New
York City moves on the muscle and heart of its people and the themes and issues that dominate this format -- the struggles
people face and overcome everyday -- are the backbone of what we are and what we do. New York City is not lacking country
At a similar press conference Tuesday afternoon in Nashville, CMA officials announced that the 2006 awards
show will take place in downtown Nashville at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. For years, the show was staged at the Grand
Ole Opry House before an invitation-only audience. The move to the more spacious downtown arena will allow fans to purchase
tickets to the event. CMA officials said a decision has not been made to move the show to the Gaylord Entertainment Center
on a permanent basis. Meanwhile, this year's CMA Awards show takes place Nov. 9 at the Opry House.
Presenting the 2005
show at Madison Square Garden will mean $30 million to the New York City economy, CMA executive director Ed Benson said during
the Nashville press conference. Benson, who termed the deal "a platform to escalate media interest," would not divulge specifics
about the financial arrangement made between the CMA and New York City. However, he did say it will cost more than twice as
much to produce the awards show in New York, adding that New York City will provide a compensation package to offset the additional
At the Nashville press conference, Brooks said the CMA also considered the extra costs Nashville-based artists,
labels and music businesses will be forced to incur simply to be present for the awards show activities in New York.
is a tremendous amount of trouble we're going through to do this," Brooks said. He added, "We feel the pluses far outweigh