×

Futuristic New Arena Concept MSG Sphere Unveiled by James Dolan in New York Presentation

In a futuristic presentation at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday evening, Madison Square Garden Company chief James Dolan unveiled MSG Sphere, a vision of a technologically enhanced arena of the future. In a presentation for investors and reporters that utilized nearly all of Radio City’s stage and towering ceiling and recalled astronomy exhibits at science museums, Dolan said, “No longer is the venue a place to spectate. It’s a place to go and participate.” The screen filled with renderings of spherical venues placed in the cityscapes of Las Vegas and London — where the first two such arenas are scheduled to open beginning in 2020. The company expects to break ground on the 18,500-capacity Vegas venue later this year.

While the presentation was short on specifics, press materials speak of the “music and entertainment-focused venues [that] will revolutionize the way artists and audiences connect” via the “next generation of transformative, immersive experiences.” Dolan, citing as inspiration the Ray Bradbury short story “The Veldt” which included an “intelligent venue,” described audio that will be optimized for each member of the audience, and ultra-high-definition video.

The venues’ features are expected to include:

A spherical shape, which will become a hallmark design element of MSG Sphere venues; copious VIP-type amenities options a height of more than 360 feet and equator width of more than 500 feet; technologies that include a fully programmable exterior, creating a digital showcase for brands, artists, events, and partners; an interior bowl that features the largest and highest current resolution media display; a custom spherical camera system; a dynamically adaptive acoustics system that will deliver crystal-clear audio to every guest; and a new architecture for wireless connectivity.

Attendees were invited to view mini-installations of the dome’s tech, including a VR mock-up of the massive screen that will stretch in front, around, and above audiences; a demo of the “haptic floor” that will make seats vibrate with bass notes; and a sound system that can direct and modulate audio mixes with extreme precision.

MSG aims to break ground on its first dome, the MSG Sphere Las Vegas, by the end of this year, for an opening targeted for as early as 2020.

More Biz

  • Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head

    Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head Up A&R at UMPG Nashville

    After a decades-long tenure at Sony/ATV Nashville, Terry Wakefield has followed another alumnus, Troy Tomlinson, across town to take a top position at Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville. Wakefield is senior VP of A&R at UMPG after having been senior VP of creative in his previous post. Personal loyalty to Tomlinson, UMPG Nashville’s recently named chairman/CEO, [...]

  • Sally Williams at PBS Country Music

    Sally Williams to Leave Longtime Opry Home for Top Post at Live Nation in Nashville

    Nashville executive Sally Williams is leaving Opry Entertainment, where she rose to the top over a two-decade tenure there, to join Live Nation’s regional office as the president of Nashville music and business strategy, the company announced Monday. Live Nation said Williams will not only lead programming and marketing for their concerts in the area, [...]

  • Fourward

    Management Company Fourward Taps Christopher Burbidge as Head of Talent Division

    Will Ward’s management company Fourward has promoted long-time colleague Christopher Burbidge to head the company’s rapidly growing talent division, while also promoting Brooke Blann to manager in the company’s music division. Both Blann and Burbidge are based in the company’s Los Angeles office and will continue to report directly to Ward. Burbidge works closely on [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Kaplan Stahler Agency Signs Modified Code of Conduct in Win for WGA

    Kaplan Stahler has become the latest agency to sign the Writers Guild of America’s (WGA) modified code of conduct in a win for the Guild. In a message sent out to WGA members today, the negotiating committee wrote that the agreement with Kaplan Stahler “bans packaging fees and agency-affiliated production companies and, through information-sharing, makes [...]

  • London's CODA Agency Formally Becomes a

    Paradigm Agency Formally Absorbs London's CODA Into the Fold

    After five years of working together, London’s CODA Agency has formally become a part of Paradigm and will continue under its U.S. partner’s banner. The London office of what is now a fully integrated Paradigm will continue to be led by Alex Hardee, Tom Schroeder, James Whitting and Dave Hallybone. In a statement otherwise laden [...]

  • WGA Agents Dispute Placeholder

    Agencies Seek to Hold Key Court Hearing Before WGA Elections

    The four major agencies asked a court on Monday to expedite a key hearing in the Writers Guild of America lawsuit, as the agencies seek to have portions of the case thrown out before the WGA’s internal elections in September. The WGA and the unions are still waging a legal and public relations battle over [...]

  • Sonja Plack Cocaine Possession

    'The Chi' Actress Sonja Sohn Arrested on Cocaine Possession Charge

    Sonja Sohn, the actress who appears on “The Chi,” was arrested over the weekend in North Carolina on a charge of cocaine possession. Sohn, best known for portraying Det. Kima Greggs on “The Wire,” was booked and released from the Dare County Detention Center in Manteo, N.C., according to a statement from the Dare County [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content