Attractions industry news

05 Apr 2018

Renderings released for London's state-of-the-art MSG Sphere arena

The first renderings have been released showing what the Madison Square Garden Company’s (MSG) striking spherical entertainment venue will look like in London.

Designed by Populous, the MSG Sphere London has been conceived as the conglomerate’s first international arena, and an “iconic venue that will feature game-changing technologies and pioneer the next generation of transformative, immersive experiences.” It will host concerts, live shows, expos, esports and other large-scale events.

MSG has bought nearly 5 acres of land for the attraction, which will be situated directly east of the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre. While designs are still being developed, the venue is expected to feature a scalable capacity of more than 18,000 seats.

According to MSG, the London Sphere will boast:

• A programmable exterior that can serve as a digital showcase for brands, artists, events and partners

• An interior bowl that features the largest and highest resolution media display on Earth

• A custom spherical camera system capable of capturing, curating and distributing both today’s and tomorrow’s content

• A dynamically adaptive acoustics system that will deliver crystal clear audio to every guest, no matter the size or type of event

• A new architecture that will set a new standard for wireless connectivity

MSG and Populous plan to submit a planning application by the end of 2018.

According to research published by professional services consultant EY, cited by MSG to support its plans, the MSG Sphere London would support approximately 3,200 jobs annually, contribute £2.7bn (US$3.7bn, €3bn) to the UK economy over the initial 20 years of operations, and generate additional revenues of over £50m (US$69m, €56.3m) every year for local businesses.

MSG research, carried out by Sound Diplomacy, claims that London has fewer large arenas relative to population size than other major cities, including Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and New York, and that the UK’s capital is well-placed to welcome a new venue.

Westfield receives 45 million annual visitors, and Stratford is connected to the capital’s Overground, Underground and forthcoming Crossrail transport networks. It is also a developing destination for culture and arts as the site of Olympicopolis, which will include new homes for the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, the University of the Arts London and UCL.

MSG – which owns New York’s Madison Square Garden, a host of US sporting franchises and the TAO hospitality group – is also building an MSG Sphere venue in Las Vegas.

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