Huge New London Venue MSG Sphere Plans to Move Forward Despite Objections From Locals


Plans to build a new 21,500-seat stadium in East London have moved forward despite the objections of local residents.

MSG Sphere, the brainchild of the company that owns the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York, is intended for a site in Stratford, in the east part of London, on an empty plot of land between the station and the Olympic Park. The land was previously used as a bus park during the Olympic Games.

MSG also plans to build a smaller venue with 1,500 seats inside a spherical arena, which could become a platform for mass artists, as well as shops and restaurants. If the proposals are accepted, MSG Sphere will become the largest arena in the UK.

However, the plans were not without controversy. Local residents and a member of parliament expressed concern about the light and noise pollution of its huge video and advertising displays. The sphere should be covered with more than 1 million LEDs and show videos and advertisements from dawn to 23:00.

In response, the London Life Development Corporation (LLDC), which approved the plans for its construction, demanded that MSG provide “appropriate control measures to ensure that any unforeseen impacts on health and well-being can be eliminated if they occur.” . MSG said it would provide blackout blinds for homes within 150 meters and with a direct view of the venue, as well as create a telephone line for complaints.

“The idea of erecting a giant glowing ball covered in advertising right in the center of Stratford and in direct view of many people’s homes is terrible,” Lyn Brown, a member of parliament for the West Ham Labour Party, told the Evening Standard, arguing that such a venue would be “completely inappropriate” for the Newham area in which it is located Stratford.

She continued: “The intention is for bright lights to pollute the area on certain days from 6am to 11pm. For some residents… it’s as if this proposal has moved their homes next to the sun. It’s shameful, but developers have the audacity to offer these residents light-tight blinds for their homes, depriving them of healthy daylight if they decide not to expose themselves to a painful, incessantly glowing spectacle.”

The venue has also faced opposition from AEG, the company that operates the O2 Arena in Greenwich, which is just four miles from where the MSG Sphere will be built. The venue has raised concerns about the display of advertising, as well as the excessive impact it will have on public transport.

The last word on the project, as well as on all major planning decisions, belongs to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. The estimated opening date of MSG Sphere is not specified.

MSG is going to open a similar facility in Las Vegas later this year.


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