The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has applied for planning permission for its proposed next generation London venue, MSG Sphere.
The 21,500-capacity (17,500-seated) venue in Stratford – next to Westfield Stratford City shopping centre – would host concerts, residencies, immersive experiences, family shows, corporate events, award shows, product launches and select sporting events.
MSG, which has submitted a planning application to London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), purchased the 4.7-acre East London site, last used as a temporary coach park during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, for £60 million.
Jayne McGivern, MSG’s EVP of development and construction, said: “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."
The venue will be based on the same design as the first MSG Sphere, currently under construction in Las Vegas, Nevada. Featuring an iconic spherical shape, it would be wrapped in triangular LED panels which, when active, will showcase a range of static and moving images.
Analysis from leading economic consultancies EY and Volterra shows that, if approved, the venue would support up to 3,200 jobs each year across the UK once it’s open and up to 4,300 jobs each year during the three-year construction period. If given the green light, the complex would emerge as a challenger to The O2, operated by US rival AEG.
EY also estimates that, once open, MSG Sphere would generate £2.7bn in positive UK economic impact (GVA) over a 20-year period - £2.5bn of that in London. This includes more than £50m in revenue every year for local businesses in Newham. MSG is not using any public funding for the project.
MSG Sphere will complement London's existing venues and drive overall growth in the music and entertainment market
“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," added McGivern. “If our plans are approved, 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 venue's cutting-edge technologies would include the largest and highest resolution LED screen in the world; an adaptive acoustics system; a haptic flooring system and Wireless connectivity that delivers 25 megabits per second for every guest.
In addition to the main venue, the plans feature a smaller music club/nightclub, retail space, a café and restaurants; and attractively landscaped publicly-accessible outdoor spaces.
MSG's other venues include New York's The Theatre at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, California; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston.