Too much of anything isn’t always a good thing, as evidenced by the $2.3 billion MSG Sphere — a 366-foot-tall tech marvel. While the idea sounded incredibly impressive, the reality can be pretty overwhelming for some. Imagine living next to a giant 21,500-seater sphere that showcases 580,000 sq. ft. of LED panels and boasts 164,000 speakers right next to your quiet home. Intimidating, isn’t it? After its debut in Las Vegas, there are now plans to erect a 300-foot sphere in East London, much to the dismay of the locals. The London replica is expected to be as wide as the London Eye and will have the capacity to accommodate 21,500 visitors.
The prospect of the MSG Sphere London is not being eagerly anticipated. In fact, protesters are gearing up to oppose this musical behemoth from disrupting the tranquility of the Stratford residential neighborhood. U.S. business mogul James Dolan’s MSG Sphere displayed entrancing visuals when it illuminated with captivating lava displays as U2 performed the venue’s inaugural set two weeks ago. While the spectacle left many in awe, even those who were enthralled by the experience might balk at the thought of living perpetually next to such an imposing entertainment venue.
Lindesay Mace, a 44-year-old charity worker and group spokesman, said they were prepared to “fight against it till the last,” per Mirror. She said: “The fact that where we are now, on the permission being granted, is a travesty of justice. The Sphere is designed for Vegas, the city of lights. It is not intended for a small site that is surrounded by three blocks of residential properties. Developers are insulting residents by offering black-out blinds… some of our group live directly opposite it.” She continued, “One of our members lives 75 meters away; her windows all face opposite the site. We are going to have massive glowing advertisements blaring [into our homes] from one of the biggest structures the UK and Europe has ever seen; it is just ridiculous.” Let’s not forget the incident when golfers at the lavish Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas had a tough time focusing on their game owing to the gigantic 366-foot tall fake eyeball staring at them.
Beyond the constant disturbance, another concern arises the fear of severe traffic jams. It’s nearly impossible to ignore a vast, spaceship-like structure with such striking visuals; it’s bound to make cars stop and stare. Whether we like it or not, the plans were reportedly approved last year. The only remaining hurdle is approval from London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan. Jamie Robbins, programmes manager at Buglife, an environmental charity, said, “Developments which light up the entire night sky are inevitably going to be a magnet for our nocturnal invertebrates. We are in a biodiversity crisis, as outlined in last week’s State of Nature report, with our wildlife suffering declines from pollution, habitat destruction, and non-native invasive species. Yet, we are still failing to limit the impacts that our cities can have on wildlife from our illuminated lifestyles.”
While that is a valid point, the MSG London site is expected to bring an estimated $3 billion to London within the first 20 years of its operation and create employment for approximately 1,200 jobs onsite. A Sphere London spokesman said: “We are pleased with the progress we are making. Sphere London will deliver many cultural and economic benefits, including creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of pounds for the local, London and UK Economy.” After dazzling audiences at Vegas’s Madison Square Garden, the Sphere has plans to open in London, as previously mentioned, and even in Dubai.