The MSG Sphere is the largest sphere in the world, planned to open in Las Vegas in the second half of 2023. It also counters as Las Vegas’ most expensive sports venue with an enormous construction budget of over $2 billion. The only close contender is the Allegiant Stadium which cost $1.9 billion.
MSG Sphere is a Madison Square Garden project in Las Vegas that aims to create the world’s largest spherical entertainment venue. The venue is set to host a wide range of events, from boxing matches to mixed martial arts and other immersive performances that will take advantage of its massive spherical HD screens.
Read on to learn about the MSG Sphere’s unique design and why it will change the Las Vegas skyline forever. Get to know its convenient location and the number of events that are set to be hosted in the high-tech venue.
MSG Sphere Overview
- Address: 255 Sands Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89169
- Attractions: Sporting Events, Concerts, Award Shows, Films, Product Launches, & Advertisement ‘Light’ Shows on the Exterior
A lot of people visiting have been wondering what the big sphere in Las Vegas is. If you happen to be walking east of the Palazzo and Venetian resort, then you have noticed the conspicuous behemoth of a sphere just at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. That, my friend, is the MSG Sphere.
It is important to note that the name is not official and might change when the auditorium venue is open to the public.
The MSG Sphere is a work of art and engineering. It is the future of entertainment and storytelling, allowing live entertainers to perform on a scale that has never been seen before. It is a stage for those who want to tell stories on the biggest canvas in the world.
Maddison Square Garden Entertainment embarked on this project to find out how they can create the biggest show on earth that pushes the boundaries of modern technologies and gives the viewers a more immersive experience.
The project started in 2018 as a joint partnership venture between the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Maddison Square Garden Company.
The Sands Corporation contributed the 18-acre land on which the project is being constructed – in Paradise, Nevada, east of Sands Corp’s Venetian Resort, east of Sands Expo & Convention Center, and just a few miles off the Vegas Strip.
So, is the MSG Sphere done? Well, not yet. 2021 was the estimated year of completion, but the Coronavirus affected the work in terms of supply chains and working conditions. It is now projected that the construction will be completed in the latter half of 2023, and the sphere will be opened to the public shortly after.
How Much Does the Msg Sphere Cost?
The starting budget of the MSG Sphere has increased by more than $330 million in the four years since its conception.
At the moment, MSG company is the main funding agency of the project, using cash on hand from the company’s business.
Despite looking like a money pith, Madison Square Garden Chief Financial Officer David Brynes is confident in the returns the Sphere will bring.
Speaking to industry analysts from JP Morgan, Brynes noted the huge potential of the No. 1 immersive experience in Las Vegas.
Many brands, companies, and agencies are looking forward to taking advantage of its unique design. It also helps that many MSG Sphere sponsorship deals will come from the many partners already under other MSG entertainment venues.
Subsequent changes and delays have shot the price up several times. From $1.2 billion in 2019 to $1.8 billion in 2021, and now a whopping $2.17 billion.
Most of the cost increases were due to the Corona Pandemic that started affecting the project in April 2020. David Brynes also noted that the prices have gone up because of the Sphere’s sheer complexity and the impact of inflation.
Also, MSG will create about 4,400 permanent jobs for its day-to-day operations once it opens its doors. This translates to about $730 million in annual revenue from tourism and daily visitations. $48 million is expected to be its yearly tax revenue, and the Clark County School District will get about $7.2 million as a result.
MSG Sphere Design & Layout
MSG Sphere is a thematic destination that screams what Las Vegas is all about. MSG Sphere stands out with its new concept but manages to conform to the land of knightly shows at Excalibur, mesmerizing lights of Viva Vision Light Shows, and impeccable skyline views at Top of the World.
The Sphere is an attraction in and of itself that will forever change the appearance and marvel of the Las Vegas Strip skyline. At more than 360-foot-tall, it is a hard building to miss, and the advertisements blasting on the exterior will light up the city.
Expect it to become one of the free attractions in Las Vegas. Plans are in place to ensure the Sphere offers an only-in-Las Vegas experience through its exterior programmable lighting. You won’t need to enter the premises to have a taste of its world-class status.
The seating capacity is set at 17,500 seats, but the huge space can accommodate up to 20,000 spectators.
The total surface area of the dome covering the Sphere is 220,000 square feet. This is a massive dome, and its weight is estimated to be about 13,000 tons due to its six million pounds of steel.
As you may tell, most of the 360 feet tall and 516 feet wide area is dedicated to entertainment systems and huge screens. Space has also been allocated to house 23 VIP luxury suites.
To comfortably house its guests, the MSG Sphere will include an advanced Wi-Fi system with 1,100 access points. The high-tech connectivity is capable of serving 25 Megabits per Second (Mbps).
The exterior is a whole other level on its own, featuring programmable lighting that covers the entire spherical exterior and lights up the Las Vegas skyline for miles.
The sphere’s exterior covers an area of 580,000 square feet, all of which are covered with programmable lighting. You can imagine all the advertisements and sponsored content that will be displayed throughout Las Vegas on this exterior. This is one of the best money-makers for the company.
As part of the exterior design, there will be a 1,000-foot bridge for pedestrians that will connect guests to the Venetian Expo. Future plans will also see a Las Vegas Monorail station outside specifically built for the MSG Sphere.
Fun Fact: The 4th largest crawler crane in the world – the DEMAG CC-8800 – was used in the construction of the MSG Sphere Las Vegas and had to be assembled on-site due to its massive size.
The design language behind the venue is high-tech, utilizing the immersive nature of a three-times football field screen and thousands of high-quality speakers. And that is just on the interior.
The main show is on a huge HD spherical screen.
MSG Sphere interior screen measures 19,000 by 13,500 pixels covering a space that is more than three football pitches. It is 100 times crisper and more detailed than the best world-class HD TVs in the market.
This spherical digital indoor display plane covers about 160,000 square feet, making for a breathtakingly immersive show regardless of what is playing, from sporting events to films.
High-tech speakers take the immersive venue to another level. About 164,000 speakers use an acoustic system to spread ultra-directional sound throughout the venue. The beamforming technology of the speakers makes it so that every guest feels like they are in the midst of the action.
On top of the speaker, MSG Sphere includes an infrasound haptic system that enhances the interactive experience.
You can literally feel what is going on around you through vibrations and force directly on your seats. Bass sounds will be transmitted through the floor, giving the audience a feel of the action beneath their feet.
The layout of the interior is an atrium/auditorium style with four floors facing the screen. Every seat on the floor is strategically placed to offer unobstructed views of the main event. Some floors can be accessed with escalators and bridges, which also connect to the 5.7 million cubic feet upscale entry into the main atrium.
What Will the Msg Sphere Las Vegas Be Used For?
Did you know the legendary U2 Irish rock band is going to be the opening act when MSG Sphere officially opens? The second-highest-grossing-touring band after the Rolling Stones is set to grace the Sphere stage in 2023, making it the first show ever in the MSG Sphere.
Concerts and award shows are set to be the primary acts at the MSG Sphere. Other shows and events range from boxing matches to wrestling, mixed martial arts fights, product launches, movies, and corporate events.
Concert events are preferred because any show on the Sphere has to be specifically designed to utilize all of the stage’s features. The cost of such a production is very high, and you can expect to pay premium prices for the tickets.
When will the MSG Sphere open?
MSG Sphere is set to open in the last half of 2023. MSG Entertainment reported in August 2021 of the 2023 opening, which is set to coincide with the FIA Formula One World Championship coming to Nevada in November 2023.
However, no specific dates have been set. Natalie Ravitz, the MSG spokeswoman, has noted that there are no set schedules, saying, “we don’t have any announcements to share at this time regarding the opening of MSG Sphere.”
MSG Sphere Parking
Parking at the MSG Sphere is limited, with current space projecting about 304 public spaces on the premises. For a capacity of 17,500 seated guests, 304 parking space is less than ideal.
However, the management is planning on offsetting the difference by using 12,101 parking spaces at the Venetian Expo. This still needs to meet the venue’s required space, but the Venetian and Palazzo resorts close by will significantly provide more parking.
Considering what an attractive sight the MSG Sphere will be, you may be wondering from where you can catch the lighting show on its exterior. You can expect to catch the show from major Strip resorts like Venetian and the Palazzo.
Get yourself a restaurant with huge windows and a direct view of the MSG Sphere for a free Vegas show while you eat.