MTV Video Music Awards To Be Held August 30 At Brooklyn’s Barclays Center
New York City, which was the initial global epicenter of COVID-19, will host the MTV Video Music Awards on August 30 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed the date and venue Monday during one of his regular briefings about the pandemic. During the governor’s brief mention of the event, one of his prepared slides declared, “The event will follow all safety guidance, including limited or no audience.”
An MTV rep confirmed the date to Deadline but did not initially offer additional details.
The VMAs have been held in the New York area for the past couple of years, hitting Newark, NJ last year after Radio City Music Hall in 2018.
Barclays Center has been a center of activity for organizers of Black Lives Matter protests in recent weeks and saw skirmishes between protesters and New York City police officers.
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While Broadway theaters will remain closed at least through early 2021 and large-scale public events are months away from returning in New York, Major League Baseball will resume in the city (without fans) in July. The U.S. Open plans to hold its annual tennis tournament in Queens, also without fans.
While the New York area faced the worst of the early weeks of COVID-19, with total deaths reaching 800 a day at its worst point, taxing hospitals and emergency resources, the tide has turned recently. As the rest of the nation copes with a major surge in COVID-19, New York state posted just 7 deaths and 391 positive tests on Sunday.
New York state is closing in on 400,000 total cases in 2020, but California is gaining ground after recently leaping ahead of New Jersey for the No. 2 ranking among states.
As with baseball, tennis and the general reopening of the city’s economy, the VMAs are likely to put a spotlight on procedures involving interstate travel and event logistics. With artists likely to be coming in from around the country and the world, Gov. Cuomo noted that the surge in new cases elsewhere in the U.S. is “really problematic for us. We are a state that is a hub. It’s more of a problem for NY than probably any state in the U.S.”
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