The spherical screen is 366ft high, spans 516ft in width, and has 1.2 million LED lights.
Las Vegas’ love for breaking records seems to have no end. The city which boasts of having the tallest Ferris wheel in the US and the strongest light beam on earth, recently added a new attraction to the city, MSG sphere, the world’s largest spherical structure.
The 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide structure looks like an enormous spaceship, black and mysterious on the skyline of Las Vegas until night falls when it will glow like the Earth from space.
The bowl-shaped futuristic entertainment venue reportedly contains the world’s highest-resolution wraparound LED screen. And its exterior is fitted with 1.2 million hockey puck-sized LEDs that can be programmed to flash dynamic imagery on a massive scale – again, reportedly the world’s largest. It was fully illuminated for the first time Tuesday night to celebrate the Fourth of July.
MSG sphere’s exterior will be illuminated every day and night with animations and other imagery, sometimes tied to the season. Some people are joking that its enormous, swirling visuals will cause traffic accidents.
What will the MSG Sphere be used for?
MSG Sphere is designed by Populous, the global architecture firm behind many of the world’s top sports arenas, to host live music, film and sporting events including boxing and mixed martial arts, with construction costs of $2.3 billion – more than Sphere’s glitziest Vegas neighbours, including the Bellagio and Allegiant Stadium.
The venue can seat nearly 18,000 people. A pedestrian walkway to the Venetian resort complex will connect the globe to the strip.
The MSG Sphere is scheduled to open for the public on 29 September with “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere,” a series of 25 concerts built around the Irish band’s landmark 1991 album “Achtung Baby” and running through mid-December. It also will host exclusive screenings of “Postcard From Earth,” a film by Darren Aronofsky that promises to take full advantage of Sphere’s vast screen by offering viewers an eye-popping tour of the planet.
In November the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix’s street circuit will pass through the Sphere property, and the arena eventually hopes to host boxing, mixed martial arts and other events as well.
But Sphere’s main draw may be as a venue for live music – especially the marquee residencies for which Vegas is known.
The acts onstage will be dwarfed by the towering 16K LED screen, which wraps over and around much of the audience and can augment the concert experience with trippy animations or close-ups of the performers.
“The screen goes from ground (level) to 250 feet high, all the way around…” says Claffey, the Sphere operations officer. “It keeps you fully immersed when you’re sitting in that bowl. I used to love IMAX in New York City, but this will blow that away.”
Sphere’s producers promise next-level audio as well. Claffey says that more than 160,000 speakers spread around the bowl will deliver the same pristine sound to every seat, whether someone is in the top row or down on the floor.