Grammy Awards 2016According to published reports in the New York Times, the Grammy ®Awards are slated to return to New York in 2018. The decision caps months of talks between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and the Recording Academy to bring the 60th Annual Grammy Awards to the city along with an effort that included a burst of last-minute fund-raising from business leaders.

The ceremony has bounced between New York and Los Angeles since the first awards were given out in 1959. However, the last time the awards were held in New York was in 2003, when the Bloomberg administration persuaded the Recording Academy, the nonprofit that organizes the Grammys, to return to New York after four years in California. The ceremony went back to Los Angeles the following year, and has remained there since.

The hurdle in returning to New York this time around was the price tag: The Recording Academy said that producing the awards in New York would cost several million dollars over what it cost in Los Angeles; changing the venue would require bridging that gap.

new-york-city5Another factor in Los Angeles’s favor: The Staples Center had been designed to accommodate the Grammys, a key factor in keeping the ceremony there. You may recall Madison Square Garden was the only venue large enough to accommodate the event in 2003, but the other detracting factors were more than enough to move the Grammy® powers that be to flip an emphatic “no ma’am Pam” to return to the legendary sports venue. (The sleek new Barclay Center is more than inviting for as many reasons as MSG is not)

A formal announcement regarding the 2018 ceremony, which will take place at Madison Square Garden, was expected to be made in the coming weeks by Mayor Bill de Blasio, but those involved in the negotiations and various members of the host committee have been informed of the impending move.

“This is going to be incredible for this city,” said Daniel Glass, a member of the Grammys host committee assembled by city officials, and the chief executive of Glassnote, an independent music label based in New York that represents artists including Phoenix, Chvrches and Childish Gambino.

“I didn’t know it was official until a few days ago; I found out from the mayor’s office,” Mr. Glass added.

Neda Azarfar, a spokeswoman for the Recording Academy, said in a statement, “We’re thrilled the Recording Academy is in extensive discussions to return the Grammy Awards to N.Y.C.” in 2018.

Image result for bill de blasio

(New York Mayor Bill de Blasio)

On Wednesday, the academy and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment are hosting a dinner in New York to “discuss the return of the Grammys” to the city in 2018, according to an invitation sent to the host committee members although, Rosemary Boeglin, a spokeswoman for the mayor, also declined to confirm the move back to New York, saying the city hoped for “a formal decision soon.”

Jon Patricof, another host committee member and the former president of the Tribeca Film Festival, said: “We’re very fortunate in New York, but I think we’re always looking to have those signature award shows that bring industries together. Having the Grammys back will be just terrific for us.”

Coaxing the awards back to New York has involved months of quiet but intensive behind-the-scenes wrangling by the de Blasio administration, not often known for its promotion of marquee events that attract major corporate sponsorship. No announcement of the effort was made, in part because for many months it was not clear it would succeed.

The city plays no formal role in hosting the event; no public money or tax incentives were granted as part of enticing the show to return, City Hall officials said.

According to inside sources, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, viewing the awards as an economic boon, helped to line up sponsors like Adidas, secured monetary commitments from city business leaders and worked with a key union — Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees — on labor concessions for the ceremony.

The effort began early this year with Julie Menin, the commissioner of the office of media and entertainment, traveling to Los Angeles to begin talks with the Recording Academy.

But even after New York City officials believed they had covered the added cost — with sponsorships and presold luxury suites in Madison Square Garden — the academy said it would require more than $2 million in additional contributions, said Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City and a member of the host committee.

The solution was an 11th-hour push in early November to secure promises of donations from the host committee, made up of business and civic leaders as well as music and clothing companies.

“The partnership considers this an important investment in the New York City economy,” Ms. Wylde said.

grammys-award-revealedA report on the 2014 Grammys found about $82 million in direct benefits to Los Angeles from the awards. The report estimated more than $100 million in additional indirect spending related to hosting the ceremony.

With commitments to help cover the additional costs should the event be relocated, the Recording Academy appeared poised to go ahead with the move, Ms. Wylde said.

A spokeswoman for Madison Square Garden declined a request for comment. The union’s president did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, the former deputy mayor in charge of economic development under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, said that after Sept. 11, 2001, the city had been focused on bringing events like the Country Music Awards and the Republican National Convention that would attract visitors who might not ordinarily come, who would then spread word of the city’s recovery.

“There were brief conversations and they made clear that there would be a significant economic cost,” Mr. Doctoroff said of discussions with the Recording Academy about staying past 2003. “We decided at that point that we had other priorities.” (clearly!)