Madison Square Garden Company to take on O2 Arena in London with new venue

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The Madison Square Garden Company has confirmed that it is building a ‘large-scale, state-of-the-art, music and entertainment venue’ in the East End of London.

The venue, known as MSG Sphere, will be erected on land totalling nearly five acres in Stratford.

This land, which has been purchased by MSG, is located next to Westfield Stratford City shopping centre.

MSG is remaining tight-lipped on the venue’s size, but a direct rival to London’s famous O2 Arena looks likely.

Another MSG Sphere project, being built in Las Vegas, will have a scalable capacity of more than 18,000 seats, all of which will be in front of the stage, and up to 5,000 standing.

MSG’s Executive Chairman and CEO, James L. Dolan said: “London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and we are delighted to be taking this first step towards making it the location for MSG’s first international venue.”

According to a press release, MSG Spheres will ‘feature an iconic design, and will be equipped with game-changing technologies that push the limits of connectivity, acoustics, video, and content distribution’.

Dolan continued: “We believe that a large-scale, next-generation venue will not only become a premier destination, but also drive growth in London’s overall music and entertainment market – benefiting artists and fans, and serving as a long-term investment in the future of this incredible city.

“MSG Sphere will provide a home where like-minded communities can come together to not only interact with the performance, but also with each other.”

“London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and we are delighted to be taking this first step towards making it the location for MSG’s first international venue.”

James Dolan, Madison Square Garden Company 

In addition to its plans to build in Las Vegas, MSG’s venues include: New York’s Madison Square Garden, 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.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “From intimate grassroots music venues to spectacular arenas, London’s buzzing live music scene is world-renowned. It’s great to welcome another world-class venue to the capital, to confirm London’s position as a music powerhouse and to boost still further our city’s thriving night-time economy.”

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock said: “It’s great news that the world-famous Madison Square Garden Company has chosen London to be home for its first international venue. This cements both the capital and UK’s reputation for leading the world in music and the creative industries.

“This ground-breaking arena in East London will not only create jobs, but help us continue to develop incredible artists, music, and innovative technology that will give fans an amazing experience.”

Preliminary analysis from EY shows that MSG Sphere London would support approximately 3,200 jobs annually, contribute £2.7bn to the UK economy over the initial 20 years of operations, and generate additional revenues of over £50m every year for local businesses.

Designs for MSG Sphere London, including seating capacity, are still in their early stages and will be announced in the coming months. The final plans will be subject to consultation.

MSG research, carried out by Sound Diplomacy, has found that London has fewer large arenas relative to population size than other major cities, including Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and New York, and that the UK’s capital is well-placed to welcome a new arena.Music Business Worldwide

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