MSG Sphere: A Game-Changing Entertainment Venue in Las Vegas
By Max Hartshorne
When I rode the monorail in May 2021 from our condo Airbnb near Harrah’s to the Las Vegas Convention Center, we passed by what will in coming years become one of the symbols of this fabulous and over-the-top city.
It’s unmistakable and it makes you look twice–it’s the MSG Sphere at the Venetian, to be completed in 2023 and adjacent to the vast Venetian Hotel and Casino. It’s North America’s largest resort under one roof which welcomes millions of people each year – and a pedestrian bridge will connect the venue to The Venetian Expo Center.
Here is the latest update on the MSG Sphere, from Travel Weekly, June 2022.
The Sphere is a billionaire’s brainchild, it was conceived by the owner of Madison Square Garden and the NY Knicks and the Rangers, James Dolan.
His associate David Dibble told Rolling Stone magazine about the design. “The venue seems geared for residencies and special projects that could fully exploit its capabilities. The video screen arcs up and over the audience “like planetarium times ten,” Dibble says, adding up to “the largest display ever imagined on Earth.” (And unlike a planetarium, it’s made of LED panels, rather than projected from the ground.)
MSG Sphere Opening in 2023
It’s a perfectly round sphere with an exterior that showcases millions of screens, and on the inside, there are additional screens, stages, and more. Like so much of what is built in Las Vegas these days, you just gotta see this thing to believe it.
MSG Entertainment expects to open MSG Sphere at The Venetian in late 2023.
The complex will seat 17,000 or hold 20,000 standing guests, at 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide. According to a release from MSG, “MSG Sphere is expected to attract a wide variety of artists and content, delivering something for everyone including attractions, concert residencies, corporate events, award shows, product launches, and select sporting events.
MSG detailed more about what people can expect inside the vast sphere. According to Rolling Stone, “In addition to musical residencies, MSG is pondering other, more radical uses for their Sphere.
Ideas range from esports to “mass gaming” on the big screen (in other words, playing video games with 19,000 of your closest friends) to immersive storytelling experiences that they hope will feel like “VR without the goggles” to, well, the Rockettes.
With another Sphere planned for London, MSG’s hopes are high. But in London, local residents are protesting this slightly larger sphere and so it won’t open at the same time as its Las Vegas cousin.
“Three years from now,” Dolan promised reporters at the ground-breaking, “you’ll say, ‘I had no idea this was what it was going to be.’ It is that crazy and that incredible of a project.”
Inside the venue, guests will experience the highest resolution LED screen on Earth, at a resolution 100 times better than today’s HD TVs. In addition…
Crystal Clear Audio and Haptic Vibes
More than 160,000 square feet of the display surface, larger than the size of three football fields.
It uses an advanced acoustics system delivering crystal clear audio to every guest, no matter the size or type of event.
This system will utilize a variety of technologies, including beamforming, enabling audio to be directed to specific locations in the bowl at a volume that remains constant – from point of origin to destination.
Two People Hear Different Things in the Sphere
This means two people – sitting in different seat sections – could hear completely different things, adding to the possibilities for a truly customized experience and infrasound haptic system that will use deep vibrations so that guests can “feel” the experience.
A new architecture for connectivity that delivers more than 25 megabits per second for every guest – enabling a broader range of content and greater interaction.
First-class amenities – from luxurious seating and hospitality offerings for a wide range of audiences to deluxe, dedicated areas designed specifically for artists.
After all, it’s being built in Las Vegas, so you gotta expect special high roller entrances and a tiered system of seating with special box seats for the big boys.
Videos of the MSG Sphere