[UPDATE 1/19/23]: Since the plans for the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas were first announced nearly five years ago, the project has been a source of excitement and curiosity for music fans, tech junkies, and architecture enthusiasts alike. In addition to a long list of state-of-the-art features inside the multibillion-dollar entertainment arena, the outside of the structure will be entirely covered entirely by LED screens.

As construction of the MSG Sphere continues and a late-2023 scheduled opening looms, the majority of the exterior LED panels have now been installed and the testing process has begun. Per 8 News NOW Las Vegas, which reported on the initial tests of the MSG Sphere’s exterior visuals, “600,000 square feet of LED screens will eventually cover the entire building, making it the largest screen in the world.” Watch some footage of the initial screen tests and a recent Las Vegas tourism video about the sphere below.

MSG Sphere Begins Testing External LED Panels

Inside The MSG Sphere

In the summer of 2022, MSG Entertainment took its initial steps toward unveiling the Sphere with the launch of the venue’s “Sphere Immersive Sound” setup at another one of its properties, New York’s Beacon Theatre. Touted as “the world’s most advanced concert audio system,” utilizes 3D audio “beamforming” technology developed with German firm Holoplot to deliver clear, uniform sound to every seat in the building. The system was unveiled at the Beacon for a pair of Trey Anastasio solo acoustic concerts in August 2022. Read more about how the MSG Sphere Immersive Audio system works here.

Related: Report: U2 To Play First Concert At Las Vegas MSG Sphere As Part Of Months-Long Residency

Scroll down for past updates on the MSG Sphere construction process and further details about the innovative new venue’s technical specs.

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[Photo via MSG Entertainment, 2021]

[UPDATE 8/31/21]: A new video report from construction, architecture, and engineering educational video outlet The B1M provides an inside look at the construction process for the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.

Per The B1M, Construction on the $1.8 billion entertainment venue broke ground in 2018 with the drilling of nearly 600 piles and the excavation of roughly 84,000 cubic meters of material. The excavation was necessary to  support the immense weight of the structure and create space for a 5,000 square-meter basement for “events, dressing rooms and other amenities that make the venue run.”

Related: MSG Company Details Plans For A Second State-Of-The-Art MSG Sphere Concert Arena

Adds The B1M, “The building’s superstructure is made of four concrete cores tied together with 9,700 tonnes of steel to create a series of tensioned ring beams to hold the weight of the 11,000-tonne roof.” The process was only made possible, the article continues, by using the world’s fourth-largest crawler crane which itself needed to be shipped in from Belgium and assembled on site over the course of 18 days before use.

The article and video also go into detail on the engineering approach to building the massive sphere’s roof. First, an 86-meter temporary shoring tower was assembled in the center of the space. Then, a 154-ton compression ring was placed on top and 32 steel trusses were affixed to it. Once the trusses were individually assembled on the ground and installed via crane, the shoring tower was removed, allowing the equal and opposing forces of the roof to hold each other up without a support and create the unimpeded spherical shape.

After completing the steel framework earlier this year, workers are now in the process of adding the sphere’s geodesic exoskeleton, which will add 24 meters to the building’s total height and provide the surface or its exterior LED screens.

Following pandemic-related delays, the MSG Sphere is now due to be completed in 2023.

Watch the video below to learn more about the massive construction efforts for the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas and scroll down to read more about the state of the art venue’s planned audiovisual elements.

MSG Sphere Las Vegas Construction Progress

[Video: The B1M]

[2/9/18]: The Madison Square Garden Company has announced that it will break ground on a new 18,000-capacity arena, the MSG Sphere, which is set to open in Las Vegas, NV in 2020. They also revealed one of the state-of-the-art arena’s most groundbreaking characteristics: a new approach to optimizing audio quality in every seat in the building, including targeted audio and bass pumped through the floorboards.

The MSG Sphere is being specifically engineered to provide the optimal concert experience; no athletic teams will play there. As USA Today notes, The Sphere is partially a result of the formation of MSG Ventures—a division of MSG created in 2015 following the company’s $17.7 billion sale of cable provider Cablevision. The Madison Square Garden Company plans to breaks ground on the new arena later this year near the Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s Venetian and Palazzo complex on the Las Vegas Strip.

Anyone who has sat behind/above the Sky Bridge in the relatively recently renovated Madison Square Garden in New York knows that there is a noticeable disparity in sound quality between some seats and others in the famous room. The new MSG Sphere will tackle this problem with a technology known as “beamforming audio.” The process is designed to send sound directly to specific locations instead of blasting it over speakers spread through a venue, revolutionizing the ways in which sound can be delivered to audiences. Beamforming audio, developed by German firm Holoplot, will be a central aspect in the construction of the MSG Sphere.

According to USA Todaywith MSG Sphere, the company is aiming to “transform the way audiences experience concerts and events with features that include Internet at each seat, bass pumped through the floorboards and screens that stretch across the ceiling.” MSG is betting big on technology to add features to the Sphere to make it stand out for entertainment and conferences. The MSG Sphere’s dome exterior will feature 190,000 linear feet of LED lighting (roughly 36 miles end-to-end), which can light up or display custom images and video depending on the event. Covering the majority of the dome’s 180,000 square feet (about 4 acres) interior, a high-resolution screen will create an immersive visual experience that’s been likened to a 360-degree IMAX display (Radio City Music Hall, by comparison, has roughly 35,000 square feet of ceiling space).

Below, you can watch a fascinating MSG Sphere demonstration video featuring James Dolan, CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company, and David Dibble, CEO of MSG Ventures, in which they detail many of the futuristic venue’s most interesting characteristics.

James Dolan and David Dibble on MSG Sphere

[Video: USA Today]