Ball is Life

Behold the MSG Sphere, a futuristic venue with precision sound coming to Las Vegas

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Behold the MSG Sphere, a futuristic venue with precision sound that's coming to Las Vegas. (Image via The Madison Square Garden Company)
Behold the MSG Sphere, a futuristic venue with precision sound that's coming to Las Vegas. (Image via The Madison Square Garden Company)

Is this the world’s most futuristic venue?

Like most of Las Vegas, the forthcoming MSG Sphere will be built to dazzle the eyes—and ears. The 18,000-seat venue will feature what’s known as beamforming audio, an acoustics technology developed by the German company Holoplot that uses planar audio waves to send sound directly to a specific location. Unlike typical speakers, which diffuse sound in spherical waves that bounce on every surface, beamformed audio is so precise that two people sitting close by can hear two different sounds without interference.

(Image via The Madison Square Garden Company)

(Image via The Madison Square Garden Company)

The venue hopes to leverage interactive technology by providing high-speed internet for each seat. That way, fans can not only document their experience on social media, but interface with artists on stage during live performances.

Up top, screens will span the 180,000-square-foot ceiling, and bass can be pumped through the floor of the sphere. Developer Madison Square Garden Company hopes the latter feature could be especially appealing to fans of mainstream electronic dance music (EDM): It hopes to book big EDM acts like Swedish House Mafia and Deadmau5, according to USA Today.

(Image via The Madison Square Garden Company)

Rendering of the interior during a show. (Image via The Madison Square Garden Company)

Outside, the Sphere will feature 190,000 linear feet (36 miles) of LED lighting, so spectators could watch a concert going on inside, or have their retinas burned by a solid luminous ball, depending on the day. A camera system deployed throughout Las Vegas will collect and project images of the city onto the facade, too.

Even though Madison Square Garden Company, the same team behind New York’s eponymous venue, is behind the project, there will be no basketball or hockey at the Sphere (there may be boxing or MMA, though).

The project will break ground later this year, and the developers estimate the venue will be open by 2020.

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