Proposed MSG Sphere the latest in Las Vegas entertainment expansion

By Daniel R.C. DeLuca

PARADISE, NV — Las Vegas has had a troubled past few months, no doubt.  After enduring several spree killers, one of the worst flu seasons in recorded statistical history, and the resignation of Steve Wynn, it’s time for something new.  In line with the typical business model of Las Vegas Boulevard, “something new” translates into expansion.

Roughly halfway through 2018, the Madison Square Garden Company plans to break ground on a new stadium on land adjacent to the Venetian, owned by the LV Sands Corporation.  The new attraction, dubbed the “Sphere,” is slated for completion sometime in 2020, and no budget has yet been proposed.  James Dolan, MSG chief executive, has considered selling off his company’s valuable assets to finance the project, most recently including the Women’s NBA team the New York Liberty.  The current estimates place around 18,000 seats in the arena; a custom programming platform may also be included to allow entertainers to create their own effects and interactive experiences.

Dolan told NBC News, “Hopefully I don’t have to sell a damn thing. I have enough money to do more than this in the bank without taking loans.”  LV Sands, owned by international casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is infusing a $100 million investment to Dolan’s reserve.

The recent additions to Las Vegas sporting culture, namely the Golden Knights (NHL) and the Raiders (NFL), suggest that plans for city expansion do not involve diversifying our interests away from tourism.