Futuristic Las Vegas Concert Venue MSG Sphere Waits for FAA Clearance for 2020 Takeoff

Posted on: February 23, 2018, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: February 23, 2018, 03:40h.

Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas Sands have a proposal to bring a giant futuristic spherical glass arena to the city of Las Vegas, and they’re eager to get the ball rolling, but first they need approval from the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).

MSG Las Vegas Sphere
The MSG Sphere Las Vegas concert venue promises to offer the “next generation of transformative immersive experiences.” The entertainment environment will be connected to the Sands Expo Center via a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge. (Image: Populous)

Representatives of the two companies told the Clark County Commission on Wednesday that they need a greenlight from the FFA to ensure that the 360-foot-tall orb won’t disrupt air traffic coming and going from McCarran.

MSG and LVS want to begin construction of the 18,000-seat concert venue later this year for completion in 2020. But its location, to the east Sands Expo Center, is close to McCarran International Airport.

Representatives of the stadium architecture firm Populous, which is the Sphere, said the FAA review should take a matter of months and they don’t anticipate any problems. The agency is likely to pay particular attention to how light emanates from the structure, the architects surmised.

Highest Resolution Media Display on Earth

The Sphere will host music and entertainment, with an exterior display that’s fully programmable.

Inside, it will boast the biggest and highest resolution media display in the world and, according to the Las Vegas-Review Journal, “a dynamically adaptive acoustics system that will deliver crystal clear audio to every seat in the house through the use of ‘planar waves’ and ‘beamforming.’”

MSG told the R-J that this is the first in a planned series of music and entertainment-focused venues that “will revolutionize the way artists and audiences connect” via the “next generation of transformative, immersive experiences.”

New Monorail Stop

The Sphere will be connected to the Sands Expo Center by a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge, running 32 feet above the street. Developers said they are also in talks with the Las Vegas Monorail about adding a new stop near the venue.

After hearing the project would create annual salaries of $110.7 million for local workers and have an economic impact of $680 million on the city during the construction phase alone, the Clark County Commission was suitably impressed.

“Hats off to the Sands for having the vision of bringing something so iconic and historic (to the city),” Commissioner Lawrence Weekly said, according to the R-J.

“I think the boroughs in New York are going to be a little jealous here,” he added, and we’re not sure anyone knows exactly what he was referring to there. We sure don’t.

After the MSG Sphere Las Vegas, Populous has said it also plans to build a similar venue across the pond in London.