MTV Video Music Awards Forced Out of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center

MTV VMA Statuette (Credit: Shutterstock)

The MTV Video Music Awards have a host, just not a home.

A day after MTV announced Keke Palmer will be hosting the 2020 VMAs, the show confirmed it won’t be taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as planned.

Related Story: Keke Palmer Says She ‘Expected’ ABC to Cancel ‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’

Instead, the VMAs will be held at outdoor locations across New York City because of concerns about COVID-19, organizers said Friday.

“The 2020 VMAs will be held on Sunday, Aug. 30 and pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around [NYC] with limited or no audience, adhering to all state and city guidelines,” reps for Barclays Center and MTV said in a joint statement to Page Six, after sources told the outlet the Barclays plan had been shelved.

The VMAs planned to have either a “limited” audience or no audience at all, based on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pandemic guidelines for indoor events, but that suddenly changed Friday.

“In close consultation with state and local health officials, it became clear at this time that outdoor performances with limited or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event,” the statement continued. “The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Center in 2021. MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local officials, the medical community, and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of all involved.”

MTV announced on Thursday that Palmer will host the show.

The actress and singer shared the news during a “Facetime” call with her alter ego and fictional character True Jackson, CEO — a role she played on the Nickelodeon show True Jackson, VP from 2008-2011.

“I heard y’all was tired of 2020, let’s go back to 2008,” Palmer wrote on her Instagram account. “Join me as I host the 2020 @vmas on August 30th on @MTV! #VMAs.”

Palmer previously hosted the third hour of Good Morning America. The ABC morning talk show titled  Strahan, Sara & Keke was replaced in March by a new program focusing on COVID-19 pandemic coverage.

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, Aug. 30 on MTV’s linear and digital platforms.