The US$2.3 billion The Sphere Las Vegas has made its public debut by hosting its first major event
Described as the "entertainment venue of the future", the venue hosted a rock concert by Irish band U2
Operated by Sphere Entertainment Co, the arena was designed by architects Populous and houses an 18,600-seat auditorium
The exterior of the structure is covered by 580,000 sq ft (54,000 m2) of LED displays
The Sphere at the Venetian in Las Vegas, a US$2.3 billion project described as the "entertainment venue of the future", has made its public debut by hosting its first major event – a rock concert by Irish band U2.
The project was initially conceived as costing US$1 billion.
Billed as the world’s largest spherical structure, the 366ft tall and 516ft wide arena has already become a new Las Vegas landmark, with vast immersive screens
inside and out.
Operated by Sphere Entertainment Co, the venue was designed by architects Populous and houses an 18,600-seat auditorium.
Its unique, immersive video and audio capabilities include a 16K resolution, wraparound interior LED screen, as well as a 580,000 sq ft (54,000 m2) LED displays covering the exterior.
Inside, bespoke audio solutions utilise specialist speakers to facilitate beamforming and a spatial audio rendering technique called "wave field synthesis".
Combined, the Sphere's technological capabilities enable the LED displays both inside and outside to be used as huge, single screens.
All seats inside the arena also have high-speed internet access, with 10,000 of them also featuring haptic technology.
As well as music concerts, the venue will host entertainment, shows and other performances. A new show – The Sphere Experience – which demonstrates the capabilities of the venue – launches on 6 October 2023
, enabling the venue to sell tickets outside major concert bookings.
"Sphere is a next-generation entertainment medium that will bring wonder to the world and redefine the future of live entertainment," said Sphere Entertainment Co CEO, Jim Dolan.
"It's a venue where the foremost artists, creators, and technologists will create extraordinary experiences that take storytelling to a new level and transport audiences to places both real and imagined.
"The venue will host original Sphere Experiences from leading Hollywood directors; concerts and residencies from the world’s biggest artists; and premier marquee events.
"Powered by cutting-edge technologies, the Sphere will ignite the senses and enable audiences to share experiences at a never-before-seen scale."
Last year, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) in the UK gave planning permission to what was then called MSG Sphere – a similar venue proposed for east London.
The project was led by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Co (MSG), with Sphere beingspun off to create a separate entity
The London project received planning consent from the local council in March 2022, but was called in by the Mayor's office for approval, with no decision yet forthcoming.