Academy of Country Music Awards Will Move to Dallas in 2023 for Second Prime Video Webcast

Raj Kapoor will executive-produce, as longtime helmer R.A. Clark steps down.

Jimmie Allen, Dolly Parton, and Gabby
Christopher Polk for Variety

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. The Academy of Country Music Awards will be sticking with Amazon Prime Video for a second year in 2023, but not sticking with Las Vegas, where the broadcast has been based almost every year since 2003.

The next ACMs will take place May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas at the Ford Center at the Star, a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that hosts sporting events and serves as a practice facility for the Dallas Cowboys.

It won’t be the first trip the ACMs have taken to Texas. In 2015, the 50th annual edition of the ACM Awards was held at AT&T Stadium. Other than that special event, and except for two pandemic-era shows that were necessarily moved to Nashville in 2020-21, the show has been faithful to Sin City over the last couple of decades, being held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, the MGM Grand Garden Arena and the T-Mobile Arena before finally moving up to the stadium level with a 2022 show at Allegiant Stadium.

Next year’s show will mark a first for the Dallas/Fort Worth area’s six-year-old Ford Center, as the first awards show to be held at the facility.

Raj Kapoor has been named as executive producer for the 2023 show. He most recently served as an executive producer on this year’s Grammy Awards as well as the most recent ACMs, and worked on tours or Las Vegas residencies for a number of major country artists as well. The 2023 ACMs will again be produced by MRC Live & Alternative.

Not returning is R.A. Clark, who as executive producer “steered the ACM Awards to excellence” for most of the last two decades, the announcement noted, and was heavily involved in the past year’s transition from broadcast TV to Prime Video.

Last year’s 57th annual ACMs, hosted by Dolly Parton, made history as the first awards show to move from being a staple of prime-time major-network broadcasting for decades to a purely streaming platform.

The move back to a more modest arena level for Prime Video’s second year of hosting the awards is not a surprise, but the move to a Texas arena certainly is. The announcement suggested that a partnership with the Cowboys was part of the lure.

“The Academy is proud to extend our relationship with Amazon to once again deliver the ACM Awards live to a global audience on Prime Video,” Academy of Country Music CEO Damon Whiteside said in a statement. “The March 2022 show was a defining moment for the ACM and a huge step forward for country music, allowing audiences around the world to see their favorite artists perform live and be recognized for their excellence. We can’t wait to take the show to a new level for fans with an exciting new venue and integrated partnership with the Dallas Cowboys.”

Amazon continues to make this past spring’s show available on on demand on Prime Video, Amazon Freevee and Amazon Music Unlimited as originally aired, along with a separate version containing only the performances — although those made up the vast majority of the airtime anyway.

“We are thrilled to once again bring the Emmy Award-nominated Academy of Country Music Awards to our global audience,” said Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios. “The 2022 show gave viewers an immersive, fan-first nonstop event, showcasing the ability to create dynamic experiences across Amazon even after the live show ends..”