Las Vegas residents get their first look at MSG Sphere tech

Updated May 18, 2018 - 6:54 pm

A new Las Vegas Strip concert venue is slated to offer guests technology that will allow them to feel the music.

An “infrasound haptic” flooring system will carry bass sounds through the floor, allowing guests to experience the music under their feet.

A “beamformed” sound system will deliver remarkably clear acoustics, thanks to thousands of tiny speakers embedded in the building’s walls.

Technicians will be able to capture and present super-resolution video with a specially designed camera system that captures and stitches together 360-degree-by-360-degree footage at 2 gigabytes per second.

More than 200 resort executives and entertainment specialists got their first immersion into the audio and visual world of MSG Sphere at an invitation-only demonstration Friday at the Las Vegas Sands Corp. hangar at McCarran International Airport.

Madison Square Garden’s planned MSG Sphere will be a 360-feet-tall and 500-feet-wide concert venue slated to be built by late 2020 on 63 acres east of the Sands Expo Center on a lot currently used for outdoor storage.

The venue’s exterior will be fully programmable, housing a 170,000-square-foot spherical digital indoor display plane.

Invitations were sent to representatives of all the major resort companies and attendees included Elaine Wynn, the top shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. Several members of the Clark County Commission, which recently approved the Sphere’s plans to connect to the Sands Expo Center with a 1,100-foot pedestrian bridge over Koval Avenue, also received invitations.

A destination in itself

Madison Square Garden is partnering with Las Vegas Sands to build the MSG Sphere Las Vegas. The companies haven’t disclosed the cost of the 18,000-seat performance venue, but they’ve already calculated some of the economic development benefits of the project.

An analysis by Hobbs, Ong & Associates said the project would produce 3,500 local jobs a year during construction, 4,400 permanent jobs once the venue is open and an annual economic impact of $730 million from venue operation and annual visitation.

The Sphere also is expected to generate an estimated $48 million in tax revenue a year, including $7.2 million that would directly benefit the Clark County School District.

Christenson, whose organization helps develop special events in Las Vegas, said he expects the Sphere to become a destination in itself, but he believes there are endless possibilities for creative talents to develop new content for a venue like the Sphere.

Great venue for content creators

“If you look at someone like Pasquale Rotella (founder of Electric Daisy Carnival) and we have someone who has the greatest music festival in the world right now and is also a genius in terms of content creation, imagine him creating something for the (electronic dance music) world at the Sphere,” Christenson said.

“You’d have the ability to double or triple the business you do in live music in addition to all the new content that would get created,” he said.

In addition to the Sphere serving as a live-music venue, its close proximity to the Sands Expo Center will enable the presentation of corporate programs for trade shows and conventions.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

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

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