Once the Recording Academy gets past Feb. 11’s Grammy Awards ceremony, the music org will turn much of its attention to its golden anniversary — which will mostly be spent in Los Angeles.
It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the 50th Grammy Awards will be held at Staples Center with the pre-telecast being staged at the Nokia Theater that is slated to open this fall. The 7,000-seat theater will be part of LA Live, which is being built on the north side of the downtown Staples.
The Academy had looked to take this year’s event back to New York, but uncertainty about Madison Square Garden, which may be renovated or move, stalled those plans. The Grammys need a building clear for several days beforehand to get set up; the Garden is hosting basketball and hockey games, a track meet and two concerts in the first two weeks of February.
“It’s healthy for us to be in L.A. and New York,” Portnow said. “New York could get the 51st.”
New York last hosted the Grammys in 2003; the city also hosted them in 1998, ’94, ’92 and ’91.
The Academy was founded in May 1957, which academy prexy Neil Portnow figures “gives us an 18-month window” for celebratory events and projects. Several events are in the works and a broadcast special is on tap. A coffee table book is a “go” and there’s the possibility of a live music event as well.
The coup for the Grammys this year is the securing of the Police, who have been penciled into open the telecast. The last two acts to make dramatic returns via the Grammys — Prince in 2004 and Simon & Garfunkel in 2003 — went on to have some of the top-grossing tours of their respective years.