September 30, 2022
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MSG Sphere entertainment venue being topped off by construction crews Tuesday

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More than 1,000 Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. employees and construction workers gathered at the MSG Sphere at The Venetian Tuesday to watch the last piece of the gigantic three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle piece put into place at the 366-foot-tall entertainment venue.

The Sphere, scheduled to open in late 2023, is expected to be the most innovative entertainment venue every built when completed with wrap-around digital screens inside and out. The exterior screen, fully programmable, will have the capability of projecting imagery from a preset program or a live broadcast from something going on inside the facility.

Representatives of the news media were taken on a three-stop tour of the building Tuesday morning but weren’t invited to the topping-off ceremony, a traditional event that occurs when the last highest portion of construction is completed.

Next up for the construction crews: Bolting the high-definition screens to the interior and exterior of the building. The screen on the exosphere will take 10 to 12 months to install, starting from the peak of the dome.

The newest addition to the Las Vegas skyline, the spherical steel structure encompasses the venue and ultimately will be covered with about 580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED panels, forming the largest LED screen on Earth.

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Byrnes said in a call with investors this month that the screens would provide an impactful display for partners to showcase their brands, create unique activations and promote content.

“As we make our way toward the opening of the venue, we’ve been energized by the interest we’re seeing from potential partners,” Byrnes said. “This includes discussions with leading filmmakers about the creation of original immersive attractions with global artists for concert residencies at the venue, with promoters of marquee events and with potential corporate partners, who see substantial value in the platform’s capabilities inside and out.”

The venue will have a high-resolution display plane larger than three football fields, will feature the world’s largest beam-forming audio system with more than 160,000 speakers, and will deliver superior sound to every seat in the house.

Executives said to-date construction costs through March 31 had reached $1.3 billion.

Earlier this month, MSG said it is developing a partnership with the operators of the November 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix Formula One car race. The race course will encircle the Sphere and the partners expect to cross-market the event, expected to be one of the city’s biggest international special events at around the time the venue is scheduled to open.

“MSG Sphere’s prime position along the circuit (race course) presents a high-profile opportunity for both our company and F1,” Byrnes told investors. “We will be able to showcase the venue to a global audience of entertainment and sports fans both in-person and watching broadcasts of the event around the world.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.





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