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Sphere welcomes local interest, but short on pricing details

Updated January 29, 2023 - 9:04 am

When MSG Sphere President Lucas Watson addressed the Vegas Chamber’s Preview 2023 networking event last week, he extended an invitation to the city to embrace the new performance venue and make it our own.

How do we do that? Watson listed five ways:

Help local talent find a role.

Become an ambassador.

Invest in a suite and hospitality.

Buy tickets.

Advertise your business on the Sphere.

I’ve seen — and heard — enough of the Sphere’s technology to know that the $2.2 billion entertainment orb will be an incredible tourism draw once the doors open later this year.

But Watson’s invitation intrigued me. After all, if they want to “help local talent find a role,” I could schedule a vocal audition. And buying suites, tickets and advertising seemed like a worthy pursuit if the cost isn’t as much as my mortgage payment.

Unfortunately, details are not available just yet.

A company spokesman told me “Help local talent find a role” means Madison Square Garden Entertainment, the parent company of the MSG Sphere at The Venetian, is looking for talented employees.

Watson said in his address that the Sphere soon will hire some 3,000 workers, everything from operations workers, food and beverage professionals and bartenders to ushers and security officers.

The hiring process is expected to get started by March or April, according to the company, and Watson said at Preview that it would have job fairs in April.

So what about “becoming an ambassador?”

Several organizations have “ambassadors” that greet tourists and make them feel welcome at their venues. But that isn’t the kind of ambassador MSG has in mind.

Instead, the venue hopes to provide preview performances on some shows and locals will get a special invitation to see the event first. That way locals who see the show can become “ambassadors” by telling their friends and family to go.

Show previews are fairly commonplace in the Las Vegas market, and in some instances, the cost for preview shows are reduced.

So how about buying suites, tickets and advertising?

Sadly, MSG has not published any price lists, rate cards — or even named who’s performing there yet.

My colleague John Katsilometes asked Watson about the persistent reports that U2 would be the opening act, but he offered no confirmation. Katsilometes is connected with the entertainment industry, and U2 always comes up in conversations about the Sphere, but MSG hasn’t commented.

What Watson did say is four to six musical residencies with groups playing 10-12 performances per visit would be announced. Fans can only imagine what musical possibilities there are and whether a residency at some other property might pop in to use the visual amenities the Sphere has to offer.

As for the pricing, it has to be assumed that because the Sphere will be a premium venue, it probably will command a premium price. By comparison, luxury boxes at Allegiant Stadium range from $30,000 to $1 million per event.

There are no details from MSG on how much tickets to some of its film or concert events will cost, whether there will be price breaks for matinees or midweek shows, or whether there will be a higher cost for its haptic sound seats.

Advertising probably will be an important revenue source for MSG, and the exterior screens will become a new ad platform. Expect national brands, with local companies, to take advantage of the spherical canvas.

Watson showed some ad concepts for PepsiCo during his Preview presentation. There’s no doubt the building and what’s on it will attract a lot of attention in the social media world.

While all of us want to know details about this big addition to the Las Vegas skyline, we’ll have to patiently await confirmation of the details.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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