Officials still need to dot their i’s and cross their t’s, but it appears the Grammy Awards are returning to New York City in 2018. The decision, following months of discussions between the Recording Academy and the office of NYC mayor Bill de Blasio, was expected to be announced in the coming weeks, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The Grammys last took place in New York in 2003, when Norah Jones dominated with five awards. Then-mayor Mike Bloomberg convinced the academy to return after a stint on the West Coast. The event has been held in Los Angeles ever since.
The Times is reporting that the 2018 ceremony -- the event’s 60th anniversary -- will take place at Madison Square Garden. "We're thrilled the Recording Academy is in extensive discussions to return the Grammy Awards to N.Y.C.," a spokeswoman said in a statement. A spokesman for the mayor was also coy, telling the Times that "we’re confident New York City is the rightful home for the Grammys' 60th anniversary."
Despite their involvement in attracting the Grammys back to NYC, the city will play no formal role in hosting or paying for the event, and no tax incentives will be given. The Recording Academy said that producing the awards in New York costs several million dollars more than in Los Angeles, where the Staples Center is specifically designed to play host. Big sponsors already lined up to fill that gap in 2018 include Adidas.
The academy and city officials are set to host a dinner to discuss the Grammys (and, presumably, grind their collective teeth about the leaked news) on Wednesday night. A representative for the academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 59th edition of the Grammy Awards is being held Feb. 12 in Los Angeles. "The Late Late Show" host James Corden was recently announced as host.
This is a developing story.