MSG sphere London - replica of Las Vegas entertainment venue: Location & opening date

London is getting its own MSG Sphere - a replica of the entertainment venue in Las Vegas

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Whether it's watching U2 perform their greatest hits, or seeing it lit up in the backdrop of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the MSG Sphere is undoubtedly a futuristic venue capturing the imagination of people across the globe. And now those of us in the UK will be able to get this same experience much closer to home.

But not everyone is on board - particularly residents who will be living in the surrounding London neighbourhood. Plans would see a 300-ft high sphere covered in thousands of LED screens broadcast adverts for 25 years, and inside there will be room for 21,500 spectators. It would be a replica of the venue that is now dominating the Las Vegas strip.

It is estimated to cost a huge £800 million and would be operated by MSG (Madison Square Garden) - the same people who run the famous venue in New York where the New York Rangers and New York Knicks play home games.

The MSG (Madison Square Garden) Sphere in Las VegasThe MSG (Madison Square Garden) Sphere in Las Vegas
The MSG (Madison Square Garden) Sphere in Las Vegas

Where will London's MSG Sphere be built?

The project was approved initially by London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) - the group which overseas the future of the former Olympic Park site in Stratford where it is proposed to be built. But before building works can start, proposals still have to be approved by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove.

Plans hit a roadblock in February this year. An Article 31 holding directive was issued by Gove, preventing the LLDC and Mr Khan from signing off on the plans before deciding whether there is a need for further scrutiny.

When will it be built?

It's hard to say at this stage as plans are in their infancy but if and when it is given full approval, it is estimated it will take three years to build. It could be longer though, as the Las Vegas MSG Sphere took five years to build.

Why is it controversial?

Firstly, locals are upset about how the arena might impact the infrastructure of Stratford and the immense light pollution its thousands of screens might cause. Sleeping with a massive moving beam of light through your window may not be the easiest thing. Residents are worried about how the light and the foot traffic will impact their daily lives and even the value of their homes. There are also concerns over the impact on wildlife.

However, supporters of the project claim that the arena would boost London's economy by £2.5 billion, bringing in £50 million a year to local businesses and creating 1,200 jobs.

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