Its construction continuing in fits and starts, before and during the pandemic, the MSG Sphere at the Venetian tantalizes those who drive by the site just east of the Las Vegas Strip.
The distinctive music and entertainment venue, a dome first announced by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. in February 2018, promises to be a state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind facility, another landmark in a city full of iconic structures, when it opens in 2023.
It will be 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide, include 876,000 square feet of interior space and be able to seat 17,500 (and a total of 20,000 including standing capacity). A 1,000-foot-long pedestrian bridge will connect the venue to Sands Expo, adjacent to the Venetian.
The LED exterior will be a fully programmable digital showcase for artists, brands and partners. A more than 160,000-square-foot LED screen, about three football fields and touted as the world's largest and highest-resolution screen, will surround the stage and audience.
The acoustics system will include beamforming, which enables audio to be directed to specific locations in the bowl; those sitting in different sections will be able to hear two different things simultaneously. An infrasound haptic flooring system will use deep vibrations so guests can "feel" the experience. There will be 1,100 Wi-Fi access points.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment recently assumed the role of construction manager. The previous general contractor, engineering firm Aecom, will continue to support MSG Sphere through the project's completion.
Earlier this year, the superstructure reached its widest point with the completion of the venue's sixth-level concrete ring beam. The construction team also placed two 240-ton steel girders 140 feet high, spanning the length of what will be the venue's stage.
"Placing these giant steel girders is a critical milestone for MSG Sphere and a unique element of building a truly spherical venue," said Nick Tomasino, vice president of construction for MSG Entertainment. "This technical work allows us to continue vertical construction and will also help provide support for the 13,000-ton steel domed roof, which we anticipate we will begin building in early 2021."