Predators' success forces CMT Music Awards into new venue

The CMT Music Awards have fallen prey to the Nashville Predators.

Typically held in the Predators’ home at Bridgestone Arena, the 2017 CMT Music Awards are moving to Music City Center, thanks to the hockey team’s extended run for the Stanley Cup. Hosted by Charles Esten of CMT’s “Nashville,” the CMT Music Awards are set for June 7 and will include performances from Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett.

“The Bridgestone Arena — that is the Predators’ home and nobody’s more excited than everybody involved with the CMT Music Awards to think the Predators might actually need their home on that night,” Esten said. “This is not anything that anyone is upset about. We’ll more than make it work.”

Having “flirted” with the possibility of a timing conflict between the CMT Music Awards and the Predators in past years, CMT President Brian Philips said the network always builds in a back-up plan. He said the fan-voted awards show will look no different on television and the related street performances on outside stages will stay the same if not grow.

Executive producer Margaret Comeaux explained that during the show’s planning stages, organizers developed a similar look for the alternate venue but on a smaller scale. 
“We put them side by side and set the tone for the show,” she said. “It’s really going to have a lot of the same components that we were designing. It will have the same energy it always has for the viewer at home that it has every year.”

Fans, though fewer of them, will still be able to attend the CMT Music Awards. And when it comes to the show’s line-up, Philips said it is “act-for-act it’s among our heaviest lineups ever.” Nominations for the show will be announced Tuesday.

“I think, if anything, shifting gears a little bit and improvising and innovating as the situation demands, will make for better live TV,” Philips said. “It’s a great way to test the elasticity of the show a little bit and see what more we can get away with technically and visually and in a very different way.”

The 2017 CMT Music Awards will air live at 7 p.m. June 7 on CMT.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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