The Sphere, located on the Las Vegas Strip, is groundbreaking in immersive entertainment. Combining centuries old mathematical formulas with new technology and engineering, the Sphere’s first design was constructed by James Dolan, the executive chair of Madison Square Garden and owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers.
Being the largest spherical structure in the world, its exterior is covered in 580,000 square feet of LED lights that can be seen from space. On Sept. 29, 2023, its opening night with U2 was enjoyed by 17,385 people, the amount that the venue holds. Not only will the Sphere be utilized for concerts but will also host sporting events and other wide ranges of experiences.
The Sphere, along with MSG Networks, is part of Sphere Entertainment Co. According to Yahoo, on Dec. 5, 2023, Sphere Entertainment “provided a glimpse at the finances of James Dolan’s $2 billion Sphere project in Las Vegas in a new Securities and Exchange Commission.” In summary, Sphere Entertainment began its quarter on Sept. 30, 2023 with $433.5 million in cash, including $123 million from advance ticket sales. However, the company’s debt of $1.2 billion is sending shareholders into a frenzy after such information was released to the public. Between Sept. 30, 2023 and Oct.11, 2024, “under the terms of the MSGN deal, $103.1 million in required quarterly amortization payments are due,” according to Billboard. CEO James Dolan addressed the situation and has hope for the company moving forward in 2024 with their upcoming lineup of the bands Phish and U2.
Mixed reviews and thoughts about the Sphere have scattered over social media in its beginning days of being open. Some think that it’s obnoxious and too bright, while some think it’s mesmerizing and are in awe of the 160,000 square feet media plane that presents endless possibilities of images to immerse you on another planet. Senior JD Maske attended the U2 show in December, and said “the Sphere was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Being surrounded by screens that can manipulate in any way is so mesmerizing. The Sphere and U2’s music was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The old saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” has lived up to its meaning. Creators in London talked about making a similar Sphere in London, England for people across the seas to experience. However, this proposal has received much backlash from the UK government but has not yet ceased the idea entirely.