CMA Awards Head To New York

The Country Music Association (CMA) Awards will move outside of Nashville next year for the first time when it heads north to New York. The 39th annual event will be held at Madison Square Garden on N

The Country Music Association (CMA) Awards will move outside of Nashville next year for the first time when it heads north to New York. The 39th annual event will be held at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15, 2005, and will be broadcast live on CBS.

"We're going to take this event to a whole new level," New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said today (Oct. 5) in making the announcement. "New York City is the No. 1 media market, which will not only strengthen country music's worldwide recognition, but will also showcase the 'World's Second Home' to a whole new worldwide audience."

"Make no mistake, we are not leaving our traditional home behind," added Brooks & Dunn's Kix Brooks, president of CMA's board of directors. "We are taking Nashville with us to the city of New York."

NYC Big Events Inc., a city agency devoted to securing high-profile events, first approached the CMA in September 2003 about hosting the show, which will generate an estimated $30 million for Gotham, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

In addition the awards event, the CMA will host a week of promotional activities under the "Country Takes New York City" banner.

"We are taking country music to the street," Brooks said. "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 spirit."

"This could be an incredible opportunity for country artists on all levels," said artist Trace Adkins, who was also on hand for the announcement. "As an artist, as well as a CMA Board member, I think the CMA Awards show is already one of the best avenues we have to expose our music to such a broad audience. So, this is not about changing the show -- but by taking the show to New York City, perhaps, we will change some minds."