Construction Begins on High-Tech Vegas Arena
Construction is officially under way on the MSG Sphere, an 18,000-seat high-tech entertainment arena that appears destined to change the experience of seeing a live event in Las Vegas.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval led the list of dignitaries who journeyed to Sin City for a ceremonial groundbreaking on September 27, hosted by Las Vegas Sands and Madison Square Garden Company, which are jointly developing the venue just east of the Strip on LVS land adjoining the company’s Venetian megaresort and Sands Expo & Convention Center.
“I was thinking to myself, this truly is the next chapter in the history of the evolution of the entertainment capital of the world,” Sandoval said to a gathering of some 300, which included LVS Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, President and COO Rob Goldstein and Jim Dolan, chairman and CEO of MSGC.
“When you look at the Sphere, it is unlike anything on planet Earth,” the governor continued. “This will be the first of its kind, right here in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
Dolan noted, “Do you suppose when they broke ground for the Eiffel Tower that people knew what it was going to be? I’m pretty sure they didn’t. I think this is going to be like that.”
Slated to open in 2021, the Sphere will encompass 580,000 square feet and will top off at 360 feet, a height that ensures it will be a prominent addition to the Strip skyline. It will feature fully programmable video imagery on its exterior as well as interior surface, highlighted by a 170,000-square-foot spherical indoor display plane. Sound will be transmitted through thousands of tiny speakers embedded in the walls so the clarity will be same from any seat, front row or back. Spectators will be able to feel programmable vibrations via an infrasound haptic floor system. The “beam-formed” technology, as it’s called, will direct sound with laser-like precision so that performers will be able to hear instruments and vocals without wires. Similarly, speakers at an event will be able to reach their audience in different languages in different parts of the building wirelessly.
MSG unveiled the technology at a presentation at Radio City Music Hall in New York earlier this year and has taken it on the road to Southern California and London.
The company reportedly has a commitment to develop a Sphere in London, but Las Vegas will be the first to open.