MSG and Sands plan 360-foot-tall spherical Las Vegas arena
- The Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG) and the Las Vegas Sands Corp. have announced plans to build a 360-foot-tall, 500-foot-wide, 18,000-seat spherical arena on the Las Vegas Strip, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The Sands is providing $75 million toward construction costs.
- The arena, Billboard reported, will feature a programmable exterior with more than 36 miles of LED lights and a 250-million-pixel interior screen with a 19,000 by 13,500 resolution, making it the largest, highest-definition screen on Earth, according to MSG. The venue — which will be able to host events ranging from immersive shows and esports to some live professional sports events — will be connected to The Venetian and Palazzo hotels via a pedestrian bridge that passes through the lobby of the Sands Expo & Convention Center, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- Construction of the MSG Sphere Las Vegas is slated to begin in June and wrap up in 2020. MSG said it is building a similar sphere-shaped arena in London.
Because of the height of the proposed venue and the Strip's proximity to McCarran International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is sure to have a say in whether construction can move forward safely or if MSG and the Sands will have to make modifications to the design.
The FAA gave a relatively quick approval to the Las Vegas Raiders' $2 billion stadium in September. The agency initially said it would take five weeks to review the 225-foot-tall venue's design, but made its decision in about two weeks.
Not so lucky were the Los Angeles Rams when the FAA reviewed the team's new $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood, Calif. The FAA took more than a year to come to the decision that the Rams would have to provide a $29-million radar system to ensure that air traffic could continue to navigate safely in and out of nearby Los Angeles International Airport.
Also scheduled for a 2020 opening is The Drew Las Vegas, a $2.5 billion resort hotel located on the Strip. New developers took over the bankrupt Fontainebleau Las Vegas resort project, which was still under construction when it was sidelined by the Great Recession, and plan on rebranding it under the Marriott banner. The Drew and other new hotels should be able to help accommodate the extra 600,000 annual visitors expected once the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion is complete.
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