Lucas Watson named president of MSG Sphere as planning officers back London venue

Lucas Watson named president of MSG Sphere as planning officers back London venue

Madison Square Garden Entertainment has named Lucas Watson as president, MSG Sphere, effective March 28. 

In this new position, Watson will lead the strategy and execution of all business aspects of MSG Sphere. The company’s planned state-of-the-art venues will “combine cutting-edge technology with multi-sensory storytelling to deliver fully immersive experiences”, according to a statement.

MSGE has plans to build a Sphere venue in Stratford, London, which has again been opposed by rival AEG at the planning stage on the basis that the proposed site is too close to The O2 venue. Planning officers at the London Legacy Development Corporation have recommended that the venue proposal for Stratford should be approved. The final decision will be taken by the LLDC’s planning committee on March 22.

Watson is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of global experience. He will drive various aspects of MSG Sphere’s commercial strategy, including go-to-market planning and bookings, which will feature a wide range of bespoke ‘only in Sphere’ attractions, residencies, conventions and product launches. 

He will work closely with his colleagues across MSG Entertainment in various aspects of MSG Sphere development, including technology, content, sponsorship, and hospitality, to build the business. 

The first MSG Sphere venue – MSG Sphere at The Venetian – is currently under construction in Las Vegas and is scheduled to open in the second half of 2023. 

As part of his role, Watson will oversee global development of the MSG Sphere brand, which includes selectively extending the MSG Sphere network to other markets. He will be based in Burbank, California and report to James Dolan, executive chairman and CEO, MSG Entertainment.

Dolan said: “I am pleased to welcome Lucas to MSG Entertainment, where his expertise will be an asset as we prepare to open our first MSG Sphere venue and further develop the global MSG Sphere brand. MSG Sphere will provide a next-generation experience unlike anything that exists in the world, and Lucas’ proven track record of delivering global growth and scale will help us realise our long-term vision for these venues – starting with MSG Sphere at The Venetian.”

Watson (pictured) said: “I am excited to join MSG Entertainment at such an important time for MSG Sphere. Throughout my career I have focused on building world-class brands and scaling emerging companies with disruptive technologies to deliver growth. The opportunity to revolutionise entertainment with MSG Sphere is thrilling. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the company to bring this first-of-its-kind venue to life.”

Watson most recently served as SVP, commercial operations at Cruise, where he was responsible for leading development of the commercial strategy and go-to-market operations plan for the self-driving car technology company. 

Before joining Cruise, Watson served as EVP, global chief marketing and sales officer at Intuit, a global provider of business and financial management solutions. He joined Intuit from Google, where as VP, global brand solutions and innovations he led the company’s brand advertising business. 


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