London Mayor Sadiq Khan has rejected a proposal to build an MSG Sphere venue in Stratford, East London.
The proposal submitted by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSG), which owns and operates the Las Vegas Sphere, was met with significant opposition from local officials and residents who raised concerns about health risks and other potential disruptions caused by the would-be-venue’s massive LED exterior.
“London is open to investment from around the world and Sadiq wants to see more world-class, ambitious, innovative entertainment venues in our city,” a spokesperson for the mayor told The Standard.
“But as part of looking at the planning application for the MSG Sphere, the Mayor has seen independent evidence that shows the current proposals would result in an unacceptable negative impact on local residents,” they continued.
Though the proposed 21,000-capacity venue had promised to create at least 1,200 jobs as the third major concert arena in London, The Standard reports that potential light pollution, high energy bills and impact on heritage sites in the area led to Khan’s decision.
In response to these concerns, MSG had promised to provide blackout curtains to nearby homes and to establish a telephone line for complaints.
A statement from Sphere Entertainment regarding the mayor’s decision reads, “While we are disappointed in London’s decision, there are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities. We will concentrate on those.”
Initially proposed in 2018 after MSG purchased a 4.7-acre site previously used as a parking lot during the 2012 London Olympics, plans for the London MSG sphere entered stage two earlier this year.
Following Khan’s stage two rejection, the proposal will head to Communities Secretary Michael Gove for a final ruling.
Earlier this month, the $2.3 billion MSG Sphere in Las Vegas reported a quarterly loss of $98.4 million, less than two months on from its grand opening for the first of U2’s residency shows.
Featured image from The Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation.