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London’s Madison Square Gardens Sphere venue proposal takes shape

Initially rumoured in January 2018, the MSG company has submitted its planning documents to the London Legacy Development Corporation. The sphere venue is set to have LED walls and an adaptive sound system

Initially announced last February, London’s Madison Square Gardens Company sphere-shaped music venue proposal – MSG Sphere – designed by Populous, has begun to take shape; the MSG, behind the project, has reportedly now submitted planning documents to the London Legacy Development Corporation. The plans have been approved by London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Not only will the walls be made with LED panels, referred to as its ‘LED’ skin, that the project website touts will be the “largest and highest resolution LED screen in the world,” but it will include an adaptive sound system that targets individual seats. It is also set to include a haptic floor system that conveys bass through the floor. 

The site under question was a coach park in Stratford during the London 2012 Olympic Games and the venue would have a diameter of 120m and be 90m tall, making up a 4.7 acre site. It would seat 17,500 or up 21,500 with some standing space. Other plans for the venue include a smaller venue/nightclub, shops, a café, restaurants and several publicly accessible outdoor spaces, including parks and an outdoor gym.

Critics of the proposal have launched a petition against it, citing light pollution, increased traffic, failure to build housing at the site instead, and also the close connection of MSG executive chair, James Dolan, to Donald Trump and the Weinstein Company.

“If our plans are approved,” said MSG’s executive VP, Jayne McGivern, “we believe MSG Sphere will complement London’s existing venues and drive overall growth in the music and entertainment market, benefiting residents, artists and fans.”