Sphere Entertainment Company, sister company to Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation MSG, is looking for a new location for its second Sphere venue after its London-based plans were blocked by the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.
“While we are disappointed in London’s decision, there are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities. We will concentrate on those,” a Sphere Entertainment spokesperson told Skift.
Planned for the edge of East London’s Olympic Park in Stratford, Khan turned down the venue due to concerns about light pollution, increased electricity usage, and a need for more sustainable green energy solutions. The project also posed potential risks to heritage sites in the Stratford area.
MSG’s executive chairman and chief executive, James Dolan, said in an interview with The Standard that the company had no intention to appeal. Dolan called the move “political” after a five-year process with the London Legacy Development Corporation, thousands of hours of consultation with community forums, and 100 changes to the proposed venue’s plans.
Dolan expected to sell the site pegged for the £1.5 billion ($1.87 billion) MSG Sphere arena.
He questioned why London “wouldn’t want the best show on earth?”, citing U2’s extended residency at the Sphere in Las Vegas.
“Everybody comes out of that show saying it’s the best thing they have ever seen. You should talk to Bono. He is going to be disappointed it’s not in London. Bono sees the Sphere in Vegas as an art installation. He tells me all the time. I also think he might like one in Dublin.”