The Sphere at The Venetian Resort, formerly referred to as MSG Sphere, stands as a spherical music and entertainment arena situated in Paradise, Nevada, near the Las Vegas Strip and east of the Venetian resort. The concept was introduced by the Madison Square Garden Company in 2018, and construction commenced the following year. The intended inauguration of the 18,600-seat arena was initially set for 2021, but construction encountered delays in 2020 due to disruptions in the supply chain.
Work later resumed, and The Sphere is now scheduled to open on September 29, 2023, featuring a 25-show residency titled U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere performed by U2. The exterior boasts an impressive 81,300 square meters (875,106 square feet) of surface area, with 54,000 square meters (581,251 square feet) adorned with LEDs, creating the world’s largest LED wall. Notably, The Sphere takes the title of the largest spherical building globally upon completion, surpassing the Avicii Arena.
Historical Background: The project, initially known as MSG Sphere, was unveiled in February 2018 as a partnership between the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) and the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The location, just off the Las Vegas Strip and east of the Venetian resort opened by Las Vegas Sands in 1999, utilized an 18-acre (7.3 ha) site contributed by Las Vegas Sands. In 2022, Apollo Global Management took over as MSG’s partner on the Sphere project after acquiring the Venetian. This change involved the acquisition of the land beneath both the Venetian and the Sphere by Vici Properties.
Designed by Populous, the sphere-shaped project featured the world’s largest LED screen as part of its interior design. The original cost estimate for the project was $1.2 billion, but this increased to $1.66 billion in February 2020 due to design enhancements. Subsequent factors, such as supply chain challenges and inflation in 2021-2023, contributed to the project’s cost exceeding $2 billion, ultimately reaching an anticipated cost of $2.3 billion. This makes The Sphere the most expensive entertainment venue in Las Vegas history.