$1.9B MSG Sphere Las Vegas Reaches F1 Partnership

Posted on: May 17, 2022, 06:49h. 

Last updated on: May 17, 2022, 09:09h.

The $1.9 billion MSG Sphere will top off its 366-foot-tall steel frame later this month, Madison Square Garden Entertainment company officials revealed during the firm’s earnings call last week. The entertainment arena, billed as a “new medium multisensory platform,” remains on track to open late next year.

MSG Sphere Las Vegas F1 Madison Square Garden
The MSG Sphere under construction in early 2022. Madison Square Garden Entertainment will sponsor F1 Las Vegas races when the international racing circuit comes to Southern Nevada next November. (Image: Casino.org)

The Sphere’s opening could coincide with Formula 1’s arrival in Las Vegas in November of 2023. The world’s most prestigious racing class recently struck a deal with officials in Southern Nevada to host a Grand Prix on and around the Las Vegas Strip in 2023, 2024, and 2025.

The F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix will challenge drivers around a 3.8-mile track that loops around the Strip. The circuit will race by the MSG Sphere as the supercars turn left onto Sands Avenue and make their way back to the Strip.

With the Sphere set to be a landmark on the F1 Las Vegas circuit, MSG says it will be a major sponsor of the races.

MSG Sphere’s prime position along the circuit presents a high-profile opportunity for both our company and F1. We will be able to showcase the venue to a global audience of entertainment and sports fans both in-person and watching the event around the world,” MSG Executive VP and CFO David Byrnes explained.

“This integrated partnership will give F1 significant access to the venue and our grounds for thousands of race fans, as well as takeovers of our exterior LED display for race-related content activations and advertising,” Byrnes added. “F1’s entry into Las Vegas reinforces the market’s position as the destination for major sports and entertainment events.”

Immersive Destination

MSG Sphere is certainly a unique landmark on the Strip. The spherical structure lives up to its name, and will dazzle many who arrive in Las Vegas for the F1 races.

MSG plans to use the F1 races, which attract fans from around the world, to showcase its nearly $2 billion investment. The Sphere is a 17,500-seat entertainment space.

The interior’s walls will be wrapped with a 160,000-square-foot immersive display featuring 4D effects and spatialized audio from nearly 200,000 “ultra-directional speakers.” The Sphere exterior will be wrapped with LED screens allowing for a “fully-brandable exosphere.”

Byrnes explained that the multiyear integrated partnership will provide F1 with access to the venue and property grounds during race week. The circuit will also have control of the Sphere’s exterior displays.

Sphere Rounding Finish

Madison Square Garden Entertainment first announced the Sphere project in early 2018. Located behind The Venetian from the Strip, MSG originally planned to open the entertainment venue in 2020. COVID-19 rendered that goal unattainable.

Though construction was temporarily halted in early 2020, Nevada’s pandemic orders largely allowed construction work to continue throughout the pandemic, when most nonessential businesses were forced closed. But the coronavirus caused great supply chain disruptions, which led to the Sphere’s opening being delayed until late next year.

COVID-19 has also been blamed for the project’s ever-increasing price tag. Initially projected to cost $1.2 billion, MSG has seen its costs surge by approximately $700 million.