LONDON (CelebrityAccess) Madison Square Garden Company has applied for planning permission for its London version of the MSG Sphere.
The 21,500-capacity venue will be located in Stratford next to Westfield Stratford City shopping center. The venue, which would seat 17,500, is based on the same design as the MSG Sphere under construction in Las Vegas with its signature triangular LED panels, advanced sound system and projection technology.
“This is an opportunity to take an inaccessible coach park and use it to support thousands of jobs, and billions of pounds of economic benefit,” said Jayne McGivern, MSG’s exec VP of development and construction. “Our plans make training and local hiring a priority, and would create a premier destination that serves as a long-term investment in the future of Newham, London, and the UK.
“If our plans are approved,” McGivern added, “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.”
The Sphere would:
- Have a diameter of 120 meters and, at its highest point, would be 90m (295 feet) tall
- Have a seated capacity of up to 17,500, or 21,500 for mixed seated/standing
- Include a smaller venue/nightclub, shops, a café, restaurants and several publicly accessible outdoor spaces, including parks and an outdoor gym
MSG purchased the 4.7-acre East London lot for £60 million. The area was last used as a temporary coach park during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to Music Week.
Economic consultancies EY and Volterra report that the venue would support up to 3,200 jobs annually across the UK and up to 4,300 jobs during the construction period, Music Week said.
The Sphere would rival The O2 and it is unclear if facility owner AEG would appeal the planning application but a representative told IQ it will be “scrutinizing [it] very carefully.”
“It is imperative that Madison Square Garden’s proposals do not add to congestion in the area, especially on the Jubilee line, which is critical for the movement of guests to and from the O2 arena,” the AEG rep said. “AEG always strives to ensure that its guests have the best possible experience when they visit our venues and we will work with local stakeholders to scrutinize the application in detail and ensure MSG’s plans do not affect this.”
Gareth Bacon AM, chairman of London Assembly’s budget and performance committee, said the following in response to the application, according to IQ:
“This venue would be a very welcome boost to the local area economically. It will also give a helping hand to LLDC’s finances.
“It’s great to hear that almost seven years on, the Olympic legacy is still alive. The creation of jobs for Londoners, especially those in the Newham area, is an important part of this. East London is already known to be a hub for creatives, so plans for a venue like this should sit nicely with the existing cultural fabric of the area.
“We will be watching the LLDC closely to ensure that this proposal is the right one for the area, but we welcome any project that brings jobs and economic growth to east London.”