What is the MSG Sphere?

MSG Sphere May 2022

Have you ever wondered what that big, globe-shaped construction project you see behind the Venetian Resort is?  Well, that’s the new 18,00-seat Madison Square Garden “MSG Sphere”.

(Update) Its official name is The MSG Sphere at the Venetian And yes, you read that right. It will have almost 18,000 seats. 17,500 seats to be exact! It can be configured to hold 20,000 if needed by adding standing room only in front of the stage.

MSG Sphere Intro Video

The project was started back in 2018 and is expected to open in the last half of 2023.  It is a partnership between the Las Vegas Sands Corp (The Venetian Resort) and Madison Square Garden (MSG).

It’s built for high-tech entertainment and conferences.  With seating on one side of the building, wrapping almost two-thirds of the way around it.  The seats are pointed toward a stage,  so it’s not really set up for sports.  It could possibly host boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts matches, or possibly esports tournaments.

Inside the sphere will be a 160,000-square-foot display plane — the size of about three football fields, wrapping behind, over, and around the stadium-style seating. The high-definition screen will have resolution 82 times better than today’s television screens.

According to MSG officials, the sound system will provide crystal-clear audio.  Think headset-quality sound without the headsets. There will be 160,000 speakers surrounding the audience with an infrasound haptic system.  That means you’ll be able to feel the low bass sounds.

The MSG Sphere seating arrangement
Image: MSG Sphere

But wait, there’s more!

The Sphere will have the world’s largest beamforming sound system. In English, this means sound can be directed within the building in the same way that laser lights can be focused in a precise location. For presentations such as product introductions, a group of English-speaking attendees can sit in one area and a group of Spanish-speaking attendees in another, and the sound can be directed to each group without the need for headsets.

Video Technolgy is the building

Let’s not forget the exterior.  According to MSG Entertainment, the exosphere (exterior) will ultimately be covered with approximately 580,000 square feet of fully-programmable LED paneling, which will form the largest LED screen in the world.

That’s 190,000 linear feet of LED lighting, or roughly 36 miles end-to-end to enable it to be lit up or display images and video customized for each event that is taking place.

That means what is beaming on the giant screens inside can also be shown outside.  Or the outside screens can be customized for what is or will be happening inside. Essentially cloaking the dome outside. It will all look like one giant live-action globe when seen from the street or the Strip.

What does all this video mean?  Expect a fully immersive experience on a scale never seen before. Inside the venue, guests will be surrounded by the largest and highest-resolution LED screen on Earth. 

Size is everything!

This is Las Vegas. We dont do ordinary. If you plan to build anything here and succeed, you need to be over the top on everything.  The MSG Sphere will be the largest spherical structure in the world at 366-feet tall and it will be 516 feet wide at its widest point.

Sizing it up. The nearby Palazzo tower is 642 feet high, The Venetian is 475 feet tall, and the High Roller observation wheel is 550 feet tall. How’s that for size??

Just The Facts!

  • Opening Date: late 2023
  • The Sphere will cost about $1.5 billion (all private funding)
  • The size of the globe is 400,000 sq ft.
    360 feet tall and 516 feet wide
  • The Sphere will have 17,500 seats
  • Inside, the Sphere will have the highest resolution screen in the world at 19,000 by 13,500 pixels. That is 100 times clearer than today’s best HD TVs
  • Madison Square Garden is a division of MSG Ventures
  • Current Date for completion: 2023

Editor’s note: This post will be updated as things progress with news and updates!

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