As the hype for the London Sphere continues to build, Sadiq Khan is poised to decide on the approval of a controversial large-scale music venue in East London. The Mayor is anticipated to announce his verdict on the construction of a Sphere in Stratford soon.
A community of Londoners is collectively holding their breath as they await the final decision. For the last few weeks, some locals have been setting up “Stop the Sphere” social media accounts and asking the people of Stratford to sign petitions objecting to the venue.
Nevertheless, many other Londoners think the exact opposite and want their version of the Sphere in their city. For instance, low-income individuals may never have the opportunity to holiday in Las Vegas, and so this is an opportunity to bring such a spectacle to all citizens of London.
A Plan With Problems
Now, plans are in motion to construct a second sphere in London, a smaller “sister” sphere that, despite its slightly reduced scale, will still be monumental and likely follow a similar construction approach. This new sphere is set to have a diameter of 120 meters, equivalent to the London Eye, and a height of 96 meters, matching the iconic stature of Big Ben.
With a seating capacity of 21,500 people and a price tag of $975 million, it comes in just slightly more budget-friendly than its counterpart in Vegas. Notable distinctions include dedicated public spaces and four public access points, addressing a concern faced by the Vegas sphere, where limited public viewing points to admire the exterior visuals have been a challenge.
However, the controversy arises as the proposed location for the London sphere is in East London, specifically in Stratford, which isn’t traditionally considered a tourist hotspot. However, many hotels would acquire land around the Sphere to build hotels with spectacular views of the Sphere. The contrast in the choice of location adds another layer of debate to the project.
How to Get Cheap Tickets to the Sphere in Vegas
The Sphere is so new that there are no discounted tickets available, and there probably won’t be for many years. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s not a deal to be had. Our go-to online ticket resellers are SeatGeek and Vivid Seats, and many times, you will find cheaper Sphere experience and concert tickets through these two ticket platforms rather than the box office (aka Ticketmaster).
Isn’t One Sphere Enough?
In truth, while the $2 billion MSG Sphere seamlessly merged into the desert landscape, Stratford is not Las Vegas. Does the world need another Sphere?
Back in 2018, The Madison Square Garden Company initiated discussions for a 21,500-seater arena dome to be constructed in East London. A similar $2 billion venue debuted in Las Vegas in September, featuring a 36-show residency by the rock band U2.
Despite strong opposition from some locals, plans for the Stratford sphere received approval from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) last year. Leveling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove has expressed a desire to scrutinize the project further, issuing an Article 31 holding directive in February to delay approval until the Government has had a chance to inspect the plans.
There is also chatter that if Mayor Khan does not approve the project, the MSG Sphere may appeal.
Look on the Bright Side
Supporters of the project argue that it presents an incredible opportunity for the area, potentially transforming an underdeveloped site into a thriving destination. According to MSG London, the venue is expected to create 3,200 jobs annually upon opening and attract approximately 60,000 people daily, 300 days a year, to Stratford. This influx is projected to boost London’s economy by $3 billion annually.
While the future of the London Sphere is still uncertain, there are indications that the project may proceed with certain modifications. MSG London is actively working on addressing the concerns raised by locals, and potential solutions include the construction of a smaller sphere or one with dimmed lights earlier in the evening.
Which City is Next?
The concept of these spheres, as demonstrated by the reaction to the Vegas Sphere, appears to have the potential to revolutionize entertainment venues. Should London decide not to pursue this opportunity, other cities around the world have expressed interest in creating their own spheres.
Notably, Dubai is in the process of developing a similar concept known as the Moon. Once the costs and logistics are sorted out, the sphere’s design seems adaptable and replicable in various environments.
What Happens If Mayor Khan Approves?
If Khan endorses the application today, it will then proceed to the Government for final approval. City Hall politicians have urged the Mayor to deny planning permission for the entertainment venue, citing concerns about its potential impact on wildlife. Members of the London Assembly environment committee have raised issues regarding the venue’s ball-shaped structure generating unacceptable light levels.
While a spokesperson for Khan did not directly address the committee’s recommendation, it was noted that the Mayor encourages boroughs to develop their night-time strategies to address, “all aspects of life at night.”
We Need Your Help
Did you find this article useful? If so, bookmark it and when you’re planning your next vacation click on any of the links below before finalizing reservations. You’ll get the best price, we’ll earn a small commission, and you’ll help support future articles.
🏘️ Book Your Accommodation
✈️ Book Your Flight in Advance