One of Vegas’s most unique upcoming venues is one step closer to completion. The bottom half of the sphere has been filled in and they’re now working on closing in the breathtaking upper half. It’s a marvel of modern engineering, with steel and technology coming together to raise a sparkling dome high in the heavens. CELEB checked in on the dome’s progress, because let’s face it; this thing is really cool.
LED Framework Takes Shape
The MSG Sphere team has announced another stage in the building process as the framework for the massive and immersive entertainment technologies starts to take shape. This part of the construction is an intricate and massive contribution to the overall design, with a 730-ton steel framework that comes together to form the outline of the interior LED display and help support the venue’s Holoplot audio system.
The framework will surround a 160,000 square foot LED display that stretches larger than three football fields and wraps up, over, and around the audience to make it a fully-immersive sensory experience. The start of this framework comes on the heels of the completion of the concrete and steel domed roof, which gives the iconic sphere its shape. The MSG team shares in a statement, “The audio system will feature approximately 170,000 speakers and utilize beamforming technology to deliver crystal-clear audio to every guest. The system will also simultaneously be able to send unique audio content directionally to specific guest locations in the bowl.”
Nick Tomasino, VP Construction for MSG Entertainment adds, “Completing MSG Sphere’s domed roof is a significant milestone because it allows us to begin the next phase of construction – building the steel framework to support the advanced audio and visual immersive technologies that will make MSG Sphere a first-of-its-kind entertainment destination.”
Upper Half Inching Towards Completion
The Madison Square Garden Sphere has truly become one of Las Vegas’s most eagerly anticipated upcoming venues. The Sphere is located east of Las Vegas’ Sands Venetian Resort, just off the famous Vegas Strip. With its signature dome exterior, it’s instantly recognizable from afar. But what’s happening with the construction? CELEB checked in, and received some exciting updates.
- Main Venue Façade: The bottom half of the dome has completed installation of insulated metal paneling, and they have moved to the upper half. Sheet metal will cover the insulated panels and they have begun adding it to the lower hemisphere, working their way up. The exterior will ultimately be covered with an exosphere and LED lighting.
- Domed Roof: When CELEB visited in June, the roof was comprised of steel trusses that would form the top of the dome. Now, they are enclosing that roof with metal decking and rebar, about 50% of which is complete at this point. The team expects to wrap up pouring concrete and finish the roof’s structure later in 2021.
- Exosphere: The exosphere addition continues apace as the dome itself closes in, and will ultimately be comprised of 580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED lighting.
The MSG Sphere’s team gave us this exciting update, “Over the next 12 months, we intend to complete the roof concrete and the venue’s exterior façade, as we continue to make progress on the interior buildout and the pedestrian bridge.”
MSG Sphere Offers State-of-the-Art Experience
The dome rising over 300 feet from the desert floor is a piece of art and beauty in and of itself. But the venue is more than a pretty face; it’s packed full of amenities and technological marvels that will keep guests coming back for more than the perfect selfie.
Earlier this year, the MSG team spoke about the Sphere’s promise and progress. Nick Tomasino, VP of Construction for MSG Entertainment, [says], “MSG Sphere’s domed roof will create a column-free, interior bowl, which will house the 160,000-square foot display plane – a key component in the venue’s immersive experiences. This defining feature is the result of expert design, engineering and construction planning, and we look forward to seeing the roof continue to take shape over the coming months.”
The entire exterior dome will be both a landmark and a display, giving them a massive screen upon which to dazzle visitors and passers-by.
And the inside is fully connected for guests. Each guest will be able to access complimentary internet with speeds of 25MBPS, and immersive seating offers a 4D experience with an Infrasound Haptic System.
CELEB took a look at the sphere by the numbers earlier this year: “The exterior of the Sphere will offer 580,000 square feet of LED screens, turning it into its own display. And speaking of the dome itself – the world’s largest spherical structure will finish at 516 feet wide and a whopping 366 feet tall. That’s another 80 feet on top of what passersby can see when looking at the dome today. Six million pounds of steel bend together and hold one another up to provide support for up to 42 million pounds, allowing the dome to easily support the audio and visual systems that will make the dome the most technologically advanced venue in the world.
17,500 seated guests will be able to fill the venue, and 23 VIP suites will thrill posh visitors. There’s standing room for 20,000 guests in all, with over 160,000 square feet of indoor viewing screen—larger than three football fields’ worth of just viewing space.”
When Will the Public Be Able to Set Foot in the Sphere?
So the most pressing question: when will it open to the public?! The Sphere team shared that they will have one more “topping out” ceremony as they complete the steel exosphere, likely in 2022.
The Sphere itself will open for business to the public in 2023. Vegas is known for its extreme structures and unique venues, but the MSG Sphere is one of those that nods to the past while embracing the future. Geodesic domes are one of mankind’s proudest architectural marvels, and the MSG Sphere is the perfect blend of delicate curves and powerful construction.
Even though it feels like an eternity away to excited future visitors, 2023 is just over a year away; and this beautiful Sphere will be worth the wait.