MSG Sphere at The Venetian
|Location||Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
Las Vegas Monorail, Sands Expo Station|
Madison Square Garden Entertainment|
Las Vegas Sands Corporation
|Operator||Madison Square Garden Entertainment|
|Broke ground||September 27, 2018|
MSG Sphere at The Venetian is a sphere-shaped music and entertainment arena being built in Paradise, Nevada, near the Las Vegas Strip and east of the Venetian resort. The 17,500-seat auditorium was initially scheduled to open in 2021,   but construction was suspended in April 2020 due to a disruption in the project's supply chain, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction resumed later in the year, with the opening rescheduled for 2023.
The MSG Sphere arena was announced in February 2018,   and is being built in partnership between The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) and Las Vegas Sands Corporation.  The MSG Sphere will be located east of Las Vegas Sands' Venetian resort and just off the Las Vegas Strip.  Once complete, the sphere-shaped venue will have a capacity of 17,500 and will feature LED screens inside and outside of the venue. Las Vegas Sands contributed the 18-acre site for the project.  The sphere was designed by Populous.  The property will include 304 parking spaces, while additional spaces will be available at the parking garages for the nearby Venetian, Palazzo, and Sands Expo. 
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 27, 2018, and was attended by approximately 300 people, including Las Vegas Sands' Sheldon Adelson and Nevada governor Brian Sandoval.  In November 2018, it was reported that the MSG Sphere would be built along with new bars, private suites, a museum and retail space.  AECOM began working on the site in February 2019, through a preliminary agreement. AECOM had worked on several other stadiums, including the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Excavation was underway in March 2019.  Approximately 110,000 cubic yards of dirt and caliche were excavated to prepare the site for construction.  AECOM was named as the general contractor in June 2019.   The project had 400 construction workers. This number was expected to eventually reach a peak of 1,500.  As of August 2019, Madison Square Garden estimated the project to cost $1.2 billion, while AECOM projected costs at $1.7 billion. Negotiations were underway to lower the costs. 
By October 2019, construction crews had completed an 80,000 sq ft (7,400 m2) basement as well as the first ground level of the sphere.  The basement area will be used as public space for events.  Excavation went as deep as 21 feet for construction of the basement.  In December 2019, the sphere reached 65 feet in height with the completion of a fourth level. MSG Sphere will have a total of eight levels upon completion, and will be the largest spherical building in the world at 875,000 sq ft (81,300 m2). 
In February 2020, Madison Square Garden said that the cost of the project had been increased to $1.66 billion as a result of design changes consisting of guest enhancements.  That month, the world's fourth-largest crane was set up on the site's northeast side for the purpose of lifting heavy construction materials. The crane is capable of standing up to 580 feet. In a disassembled state, the crane was transported across the Atlantic Ocean from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Port Hueneme, California. The crane then required 120 tractor-trailers to transport it to Las Vegas. A separate crane was required to assemble the main crane, a process which took 18 days.   In March 2020, construction reached the widest point of the sphere, the 516-foot equator, located at the sixth level and 108 feet above ground. 
MSG Sphere is expected to create 4,400 jobs upon opening.  The project had been scheduled to open in 2021.  However, on March 31, 2020, Madison Square Garden announced that construction would be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project experienced a disruption in its supply chain, a result of the pandemic, and this hindered construction progress. All construction work on the project was expected to come to a stop over the next two weeks following the announcement.   In August 2020, MSG Entertainment announced that construction had resumed on the project, with the opening rescheduled for 2023. Over the subsequent 15 months, construction would be focused on concrete, followed by steel erection and then the 13,000-ton steel-domed roof, the most complex part of the project.  
MSG Sphere will be 366 feet high, and 516 feet wide at its broadest point.  It will include seating for 17,500 people,  and all seats will have high speed internet access.  The MSG Sphere will be equipped with 19,000 by 13,500 resolution LED screens which will spread across the interior of the venue.  The wraparound screen will measure 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2).  Ted King, who previously worked on Star Trek: The Experience, will create visual content for the MSG Sphere.  The sound system will deliver sound through the floorboards. The exterior of the venue will feature a screen display which will allow those who are outside of the venue to see what is going on inside.  The arena will primarily host awards shows and concerts, in addition to other entertainment events.  Although it was not designed to host sporting events, there was the possibility of hosting matches for boxing and mixed martial arts.  A 1,000-foot pedestrian bridge will connect the sphere to the Sands Expo. 
The MSG Sphere will be accessible via RTC Transit and The Deuce.[ citation needed] In addition, there are plans to build a new Las Vegas Monorail station to serve the MSG Sphere and The Venetian.   
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