The biggest sphere in the world, built with the largest LED screen, is about to become the newest entertainment venue in Las Vegas.
- On July 1, the MSG Sphere was ignited for the first time, preparing for a special Independence Day presentation on July 4 to provide an early look at the venue’s new capabilities.
- MSG Sphere is not scheduled to open to the public until September 29, when the venue will open its first run of shows with a 25-run U2 concert series.
- The venue is 516 feet across, 366 feet tall, seats 17,600 people, is wrapped around by an enormous 580,000-square-foot spherical LED display, and is located near The Venetian Resort.
Why It’s Important
Las Vegas patrons were granted chances this week to see one of the world’s most innovative and expensive entertainment venues for the first time, with the five-year project coming very close to fruition and becoming one of the most notable new attractions in the city’s famous skyline.
The large construction project was announced by the Madison Square Garden Company in 2018 and began construction in 2019. Overruns have swelled its cost to $2.3 billion, making it the most expensive venue in Las Vegas. This high price tag has raised concerns about the venue’s ability to earn its money back.
However, the MSG Sphere’s ambition may play to its advantage as an entertainment venue. Madison Square Garden Company executives James Dolan and David Dibble recently told Rolling Stone that the aim of the Sphere was to change concerts and cinematic experiences through its innovative use of technology—to create a VR experience without the goggles.
The venue uses special cameras and 164,000 isolated speakers to create an immersive audio, visual, and sensory experience. The theater can create smells and change its temperature based on what the screens are projecting, and the audio system can isolate specific areas of the room to play different audio, such as Spanish-language dialogue sections.
“A lot of people out here expecting something big. I don’t know what to expect, really, but we’re here up close to find out! It’s just super exciting. We’ve been watching this thing go up for a couple of years, and it’s here, so we’re here to see the show. It’s great, and you know we’ve got wildfires and all this smoke and everything, so it’ll be nice to see this show,” Las Vegas residents Jacob and Brett Birdsong told Fox affiliate KVVU-TV during the July 4 presentation.