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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

MSG Sphere Lights Up Vegas, Could Transform Live Event Business

  • Venue not yet open and not designed for sports dominating conversation.
  • Immersive technology, design could pull events away from traditional venues.
Sphere Entertainment Co.

The most-talked-about venue in sports right now isn’t yet open and wasn’t designed for sports — and it could ultimately siphon lucrative events from team owners.

Located just near the Las Vegas Strip and billed as the world’s largest spherical structure, the $2.3 billion MSG Sphere became a viral sensation on the Fourth of July, when it lit up the Exosphere — a 366-by-516-foot wraparound LED screen capable of displaying 256 million different colors. 

Among the most prominent of the early high-end visuals were those promoting the NBA’s Summer League and its upcoming In-Season Tournament — events both hosted by Sin City.

The venue won’t open until late September, when U2 begins a 25-show residency there. The 17,500-seat arena is also capable of hosting sports such as boxing and mixed-martial arts, and Formula 1 will take it over during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Future Impact On Sports

But the MSG Sphere, a project led by New York Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan and his newly spun-off Sphere Entertainment Co., was built with music foremost in mind — the entire building can effectively act as a video screen and speaker system. The innovative design and immersive technology could spell big changes for sports venues that rely on concerts and other performing arts events to supplement core revenue from games. 

No other concerts have yet been announced for the MSG Sphere, but Sphere Entertainment already has plans to build an identical venue in London and more around the world.

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