The Madison Square Garden Company announced details of its proposed MSG Sphere London, which will feature 360-degree sound throughout the giant sphere, as well as massive LED screens inside and outside the venue.
According to The Guardian, the venue will be constructed on a 4.7-acre site in Stratford, adjacent to the Olympic Park and Westfield shopping centre. The Sphere will be able to hold up to 21,500 people, making it the largest venue in the UK, surpassing the capacities of Manchester Arena and London O2 Arena. Additionally, it will host a separate 1,500-seat venue to “help support grassroots and emerging music acts,” along with a 450-capacity restaurant and nightclub, cafes, and retail stores.
The most exciting part of the project will include the LED screens both inside and outside the sphere. Inside the concert hall, a huge LED screen will be featured along the curved walls for an “immersive” and augmented performance. Additionally, the outside part of the sphere will be covered with LED panels to show concert footage that can be viewed up to 500 feet away.
Populous, the architecture firm best-known for their work on Wembley Stadium, designed the plan, which shows the venue will stand at 90 meters high and 120 meters wide. Planning documents obtained by The Guardian note that the sphere will not only host concert venues but also awards shows, circus events, and sporting matches like boxing or UFC.
While plans for the MSG Sphere London were submitted to the City of London on March 26, Arch Paper reports that London Mayor Sadiq Khan already approved the project when it was first announced in February 2018. If he approves the new design details, MSG expects the construction could to be complete by 2022.
“This is an opportunity to take an inaccessible coach park and use it to support thousands of jobs, and billions of pounds of economic benefit, MSG’s executive vice-president of development and construction Jayne McGivern noted in a statement, pointing at analysis from MSG that suggests the sphere would create 4,300 jobs and generate £2.7 billion over 20 years.
However, local residents are opposing the idea since the site could accommodate up to 1,400 new homes. A petition is also underway; it notes that the new venue would block sunlight, create light pollution, and increase traffic in the area.
The MSG Company has also begun construction on the 18,000-seat MSG Sphere at The Venetian in Las Vegas, which is set to open in 2021.