London’s Proposal for MSG Entertainment’s Twin Vegas Sphere Rejected
London’s city leadership has rejected a proposal from MSG Entertainment to build a twin of the Las Vegas Sphere in the residential college town of Stratford. The rejection came after officials, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, expressed concerns about the potential “significant harm” to “hundreds” in the area, as reported by the BBC.
The proposed second globular concert venue would have stood nearly 300 feet high and 400 feet wide, making it about 20% smaller than the Vegas version. However, it would still have been nearly as tall as Big Ben and could have accommodated a similar number of people, approximately 18,000.
Critics, such as Stop the MSG Sphere London spokesperson Lindesay Mace, pointed out that the Sphere was designed for Vegas and not for a small site surrounded by residential properties. Residents were reportedly insulted by the developers’ offer of black-out blinds, especially those living directly opposite the proposed site.
In response to London’s rejection, Sphere Entertainment expressed disappointment but noted that there are other “forward-thinking cities” interested in bringing the technology to their communities. The company’s executive chairman and CEO, James Dolan, had previously stated during an earnings call that they intended to expand the Sphere concept to other cities around the world, with designs tailored for different marketplaces and construction periods of less than two years.
While the Las Vegas Sphere has become a prominent feature of the city’s skyline, with its world’s largest external LED display, it seems that, for now, the concept will remain exclusive to Vegas.
Overall, London’s rejection of the proposal reflects the challenges in introducing new and innovative architectural concepts in urban areas, especially when they are not specifically designed for the local environment.