Las Vegas, often referred to as the Entertainment Capital of the World, never fails to push the boundaries of extravagance and spectacle. It’s a city where the night comes alive with neon lights, world-class performers take the stage, and every visit promises excitement beyond imagination.
And now, in the heart of this dazzling entertainment oasis, an unprecedented marvel arises – Sphere Las Vegas, promising to redefine not just Las Vegas entertainment but the essence of how we experience it.
What is the Las Vegas Sphere?
What is this new attraction in Vegas?
Designed by world-renowned Kansas City-based architectural firm Populous, Sphere Las Vegas is a 366-foot-tall and 516-foot-wide spherical marvel strategically positioned just a half-mile east of the Las Vegas Strip.
With its impressive size and largest LED screen in the world, this giant black orb has captured the attention of many and pushed the boundaries of architecture, design, and technology. The exterior curve of the MSG Sphere spans over 580,000 square feet, equivalent to 10 American football fields!
The Exosphere Las Vegas
You probably have the same question many have: how does the Exosphere work?
The exterior screen of the Sphere, aptly named the Exosphere, can be meticulously programmed to display virtually anything with astonishing clarity. Its visibility extends for miles, making it the ultimate canvas for conveying messages, promoting events, showcasing organizations, or marking special occasions in Las Vegas.
In an exciting event commemorating the Fourth of July, the city’s latest landmark shone brilliantly, proudly greeting everyone with the words “Hello World.” Sphere is not just a screen; it’s a grand billboard that commands attention and leaves a lasting impression.
The Sphere displays vary from an electrified image of Earth to a desolate moon, the red planet Mars, an astronaut floating in space, a gigantic eyeball, and, most importantly, a massive NBA Summer League basketball! Other captivating shots that caught the attention of passing motorists were a colorful fireworks display and a rotating American flag.
These screens stretch in every direction as far as the eye can see, blurring the line between the virtual and the real. The images displayed on these screens are so lifelike that some may argue they surpass reality itself, creating an experience that is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Who created the Las Vegas Sphere?
A project of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment), the vision behind the Sphere is simple yet revolutionary: to create an immersive entertainment experience that blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds.
The visionary behind this technological wonder, formally called MSG Sphere Las Vegas, is James Dolan, a successful sports and entertainment entrepreneur and the founder of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, and Madison Square Garden.
Who owns the Las Vegas Sphere?
In 2022, the Venetian was purchased by Apollo Global Management as a new partner of MSG for the Sphere project. This replaced Las Vegas Sands Corporation in the venture. Vici Properties bought the Venetian and the Sphere land upon the sale’s completion.
When will the MSG Sphere open?
Sphere Las Vegas is officially open!
Another Vegas attraction unveiled itself on Friday, September 29, 2023, offering us an out-of-this-world music and entertainment experience.
Who would have thought it to be possible? But the Sphere made Las Vegas even brighter with a star-studded night, marking a new era in entertainment as celebrities flocked to the Sphere’s opening red carpet. A-listers including the mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman, LeBron James, Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Paul McCartney, Jane Seymour, Mario Lopez, and Flava Flav showed up in Vegas to see this new mega attraction that sold out its first concert, occupying its nearly 18,000 seats!
Fans described the build-up for this one-of-a-kind and the only one-in-the-world concert experience as a child-like exhilaration with the need to try and slow down an excited and fast-paced heart beat! Noting that “Vegas does it again!” And Las Vegas is a town that “Never ceases to amaze!”
How tall is the Las Vegas Sphere?
Sphere’s massive dimensions are truly impressive, measuring over 360 feet in height and spanning a width of 516 feet. This entertainment venue holds the distinction of being the largest spherical structure in the entire world!
What will the Sphere Las Vegas be used for?
Sphere is an event area – the first of its kind! With its 18,000 seats, it will focus on hosting award shows and music concerts with the next level of experience thanks to its cutting-edge technology. You can also expect sporting events, including boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts, product launches, movies, and corporate events. You know, all the exciting live entertainment that Vegas has to offer!
The exterior LED screen of Sphere will be used for advertisements, large-scale announcements, and reflecting the big happenings in Sin City.
Sphere entertainment highly favors concert events because they are most likely designed to use all stage features, including Sphere’s immersive sound. This ensures that the full potential of The Sphere Experience is unlocked, providing an unparalleled audiovisual spectacle that is both immersive and unforgettable.
Where in Las Vegas is the Sphere located?
Sphere is on the Las Vegas skyline, just off the Vegas Strip to the east of The Venetian Expo & Convention Center and south of the Wynn Golf Club. Because it’s closer to the north end of The Strip, Sphere is conveniently located near several on-Strip accommodations.
How many seats are in the theater?
The Las Vegas Sphere seating capacity of MSG Theater is officially 17,500, but it can accommodate up to 20,000 people thanks to its massive additional space.
What other Las Vegas Sphere events can we expect?
If you’re lucky enough to visit Sphere in its opening days, mark October 6, 2023, on your calendar for the beginning of the upcoming Postcards from Earth – a brand new Sphere, Las Vegas show. This immersive experience, created by Darren Aronofsky, tells a multi-sensory story. Guests ages 6 and above are welcome to attend.
Sphere is free to marvel at from many viewpoints around The Strip.
How many shows will U2 host in the Sphere Las Vegas?
U2 is set to host 25 shows from the end of September to the middle of December, each of which will showcase the venue’s impressive technical and physical capabilities.
Zoo Station: U2 UV Experience in Vegas
This one is for the band’s fans! Interact with U2 as only you can in The Entertainment Capital of the World – viva Las Vegas! Part of U2’s Las Vegas Sphere residency is the U2 UV Experience, the ultimate fan experience and a place for fans to engage with the band’s rich music history. Interact in a legit German Trabant car and choose your favorite U2 tune from the car’s radio station, a vehicle U2 embraced when recording the Auchtung Baby album in 1981.
Then head on to the U2 Pop Up Shop to discover fan-favorite songs, official merchandise, limited edition items never sold anywhere else, special Sphere merchandise, and a photo gallery. Fun fact – the lettering for the U2 Pop Up Shop is inspired by the lettering from the band’s Pop album. It’s a U2 DNA experience curated by the band members themselves with little nuance details their massive fans will point out and appreciate!
Pro tip: VIP concert packages are sold here at the U2 Pop Up Shop. This is the only way to get tickets for the U2 Sphere residency, which is sold-out online!
The U2 Pop Up Shop is open only when U2 is in concert.
Fans can buy tickets for the Zoo Station: U2 UV Experience HERE.
How many lights are on the Las Vegas Sphere?
Nothing beats seeing the Las Vegas Sphere lit up!
This Sphere’s exterior is an impressive engineering feat, spanning over 580,000 square feet, equivalent to 10 American football fields. It boasts the title of the largest LED screen on Earth and is adorned with over 1 million LED lights. These lights can display an astounding range of over 250 million colors, creating an unparalleled visual experience visible from outer space!
What hotels can you see this Sphere from?
Given its proximity to the Las Vegas Strip, visitors staying at various hotels along the Strip may have views of the Sphere.
Hotels where you can enjoy Sphere’s awe-inspiring views include:
- The Venetian Resort – This luxurious resort is situated nearby and offers spacious suites, a range of dining options, and easy access to the Las Vegas Strip.
- The Palazzo – Connected to The Venetian, Palazzo offers upscale accommodations and dining and entertainment options.
- The Mirage/Hard Rock – Located to the northwest of the Sphere’s planned location, The Mirage is known for its iconic volcano and tropical-themed atmosphere.
- Wynn Las Vegas – Located next to The Venetian and Sphere
What’s the best way to get to the Sphere?
- Car – Park in the Sphere parking lot or park at The Venetian Hotel and walk over through the pedestrian corridor bridge to the Sphere.
- Rideshare (Uber or Lyft) – Rideshare services will drop off at Sphere’s main entrance door.
- Las Vegas Monorail – Get dropped off in minutes at the Monorail station for Harrah’s & The LINQ, and then walk to The Venetian, and across the pedestrian corridor bridge to Sphere.
- Walk – Head to The Venetian and walk over through the pedestrian corridor bridge to the Sphere.
Sphere parking prices:
- The Sphere’s website offered an opening weekend self-parking discount – $70 at the Howard Center Parking Lot
- After opening weekend – Ticketmaster to purchase Sphere event parking – $40-$100, valet parking $125
- Park at nearby hotels: The Venetian – $15-$23 (locals get the first 3 hours free), Hotels Wynn and Encore – $20 for the day after the first 4 hours free
- Of course, these prices are subject to change like everything else in Vegas!
- Sphere is a no-bag facility – only small bags 6″x6″ are allowed
- Sphere is a no cash venue – only credit and debit are accepted
How much did it cost to build the Sphere?
The Madison Square Garden Company initially estimated the Sphere project would cost around $1.2 billion in 2019. However, in February 2020, the company announced that the cost had increased significantly to $1.66 billion due to design changes that included guest enhancements.
The cost continued to rise and eventually surpassed $2 billion due to the global supply chain crisis from 2021-2023 and the inflation surge of 2021-2022. As a result, the project is said to have cost a whopping $2.3 billion, making it the most expensive entertainment venue in Las Vegas history!
This cost exceeds the $1.9 billion price tag of Allegiant Stadium, previously the most expensive entertainment venue in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas embraces technology, continually finding innovative ways to grow and expand. Constantly re-setting the bar of what humans can do. Sphere Las Vegas received big praise during its opening weekend, with some describing the opening experience as being inside a giant TV screen!
“We do everything. We have the sports, the greatest entertainers, and residency, and now this!” —Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman
Did you enjoy learning more about the Las Vegas Sphere?
Are you planning to visit it?
Comment below and let me know.