The long-awaited Sphere made its Las Vegas debut on Independence Day, and locals are still trying to figure out how they feel about the $2.3 billion illuminated ball.
The Sphere, created by MSG Entertainment, stands 366 feet tall, 516 feet wide and features 580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED lighting. The structure also serves as a nearly 20,000-seat arena.
The company claims that it is the largest LED screen on the planet, as well as being the largest spherical structure on Earth.
The Sphere has lit up the Las Vegas sky in recent days, demonstrating how it can represent anything from a patriotic display to a spooky eyeball gazing up at The Strip.
The Sphere, created by MSG Entertainment, stands 366 feet tall, 516 feet wide and features 580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED lighting
“Exosphere is more than a screen or a billboard – it’s a living architecture unlike anything else in the world,” said Guy Barnett, Sphere’s senior vice president of brand strategy and creative development.
“The possibilities for artists, partners and brands to create compelling and impactful stories to connect with audiences in new ways,” he added.
“It’s absolutely amazing to look up and see what’s in front of you,” said Rich Claffey, Sphere’s chief operating officer. “I have been in the entertainment business for almost 40 years. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’m not exaggerating. It’s off the charts.
Looking like it landed from outer space, The Sphere is set to be a 20,000-capacity venue that was initially budgeted at $1.2 billion, but ended up with a price tag that passed the $2 billion threshold.
The first show at the stunning new venue is scheduled for September 29 and will be a U2 concert.
Acts on stage will be able to augment their shows with the 16K LED screen that wraps the audience inside. The seats will also be able to vibrate to match what’s on the screen, like a helicopter ride or an earthquake.
4D machines that create wind, temperature and smell effects will also be part of the Sphere experience.
Some Las Vegas residents are excited about the new LED presence. Tony Caporale told a local nbc outlet who believes that the glowing ball is “the most incredible thing ever built in the world”.
When asked about the incredible price tag for the project, he replied: ‘Who knows? That’s his problem. I will watch it every night.
The $2.3 billion project debuted in downtown Las Vegas on July 4 with patriotic displays that lit up the Las Vegas sky.
Sphere will assume different forms to celebrate the seasons – here Sphere is a pumpkin, appropriate for Halloween
The Clark County Commissioner for District E, where the Sphere is located, said he had heard that the Federal Aviation Administration could use the Sphere as a navigation beacon for pilots, due to its brightness.
The FAA reportedly said it has no plans to use the Sphere for navigation.
The exterior of Sphere will light up every day and every night with various animations and other visuals.
Sometimes it will have a seasonal theme, for example it may take the shape of a giant pumpkin at Halloween or a festive snow globe at Christmas.
A local Las Vegas Twitter account said the Sphere could attract more visitors from foreign galaxies. “This will definitely attract more UFOs,” Las Vegas Locally wrote, along with a video of the giant orb glowing silver.
Other Twitter users reacted with the same surprise and awe at Sphere, with some sharing their plans to enjoy the new Las Vegas landmark.
‘Who wants to make some mushrooms and watch this all night?’ wrote a user.
‘This is the future right here. Vegas is doing well,’ Wrote Eduardo Andradecelebrating the technological advances used by Sphere.
“I wouldn’t want to see any of that from my hotel window after a night out in Las Vegas.” Wrote Wendina Ubaghssharing a sentiment that many tourists will soon come to appreciate.