VMAs returning to Prudential Center — to be held Sept. 12

40th anniversary of event, which airs in 150 countries, again shows premier status Pru Center has with music industry

In another example of the sterling reputation the Prudential Center has with the music industry, MTV announced Tuesday that the 2023 Video Music Awards will return to Newark for the second consecutive year — and the third time in five years.

The VMAs will be held Sept. 12. It will be the 40th year of the show.

Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events at Paramount (MTV’s parent network) said the network is thrilled with the relationship.

“Celebrating one of our biggest nights in music with the Garden State’s incredible fans has been our goal since last year’s highly successful event,” he said.

The Prudential Center ranked No. 5 in the world in Pollstar’s 2022 rankings for concert venues. The VMAs, which airs live in 150 countries and still is a must-watch among the industry’s key players, is an opportunity for the venue to show why.

Prudential Center President Jake Reynolds said the arena is ready to again take center stage in the industry.

“We are incredibly proud to have the Prudential Center once again serve as the home for the 40th Annual MTV Video Music Awards,” he said. “All eyes of the entertainment industry will be focused on Newark, New Jersey, as the brightest stars come together to perform at a marquee showcase within our world-class venue. This event allows us the opportunity to celebrate all genres of music for fans throughout the world, as we do all year round. We appreciate the ability to continue our longstanding partnership with MTV and look forward to an amazing evening.”

The VMAs will air across MTV’s global footprint of linear and digital platforms in more than 150 countries and territories, reaching over 319 million households.

Sean Saadeh, executive vice president of entertainment at Prudential Center, said getting the VMAs shows how impressive the arena is for big events and big acts.

“As Prudential Center continues to position itself as a Top 5 venue in the world, we could not be more thankful for the strong relationship we have established with the entire VMAs team,” he said. “Last year’s show had some of the biggest superstars and legends hit the stage, and we can’t wait to see what is in store for this year.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the recent run of VMAs is a testament to the city’s long history of being a music hotbed.

“Awarding Newark as host city for the 2023 VMAs echoes not only our selection by MTV in 2022 and 2019, but also reverberates our city’s historic vibe as a hotbed of musical genius,” he said. “Starting with America’s first known composer in 1759, through the jazz explosion in the 1920s and up to today’s full spectrum of genres, from hip hop to opera, Newark has long served as America’s turntable for harmonic expression.

“The relevance of the Video Music Awards rising up today from the same city that registered the film and video industry’s first nitrocellulose patent is not lost on me, as Newark continues to sit squarely at the crossroads of motion picture and music.”

Gov. Phil Murphy obviously was thrilled.

“The return of the VMAs to the Prudential Center testifies to New Jersey’s enduring standing as a premier venue for large-scale entertainment events,” he said. “As the home of some of the most internationally renowned names in the music industry, New Jersey is proud to once again partner with Paramount to showcase an array of exciting performances to a global audience. By hosting this highly anticipated spectacle, our state and local economies will also benefit from the thousands of visitors who will shop, dine and stay in our local communities.”