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Why Sphere won’t have a role in upcoming CES trade show

Updated December 18, 2023 - 4:49 pm

Las Vegas’ newest technological marvel, the Sphere, won’t be a part of CES when the massive trade show opens in Las Vegas Jan. 9.

In an interview with the Review-Journal on Monday, Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association, which sponsors the trade show expected to be attended by 130,000 people in January, indicated the cost was too high to develop an event within the performance venue that opened in September.

“They quoted a price to us which was just like beyond our capacity,” Shapiro said. “We’re a nonprofit organization. We turn money back to industry.”

The Sphere has brought a plethora of new technology to Las Vegas, including beam-forming sound technology that enables speakers to direct sound to specific areas within the 17,000-seat arena. It also has visual attributes that are new to entertainment, including a 160,000-square-foot screen — almost 4 acres — with 16,000-by-16,000 resolution — 100 times better than the typical home television.

Sphere officials said multiple showings of “Postcard from Earth,” the Darren Aronofsky film featured at the venue, would occur during CES’ four-day run, but there are no CES-specific demonstrations planned.

Shapiro said CES will be bigger in 2024 than this year with most statistical measures increasing by double-digit percentages.

“The show is looking great,” Shapiro said. “It’s significantly above double digits by almost every measure above last year from attendance to square footage to the number of exhibitors.”

While CES won’t be connecting with the Sphere, the International Conference on Consumer Electronics, which meets in Las Vegas prior to CES, will have a panel discussion with Sphere engineers on Jan. 8.

The event, a part of a three-day gathering of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Jan. 6-8, is planned at the Tuscany.

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

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