Our vision for MSG Sphere is to create a world-class live music and entertainment venue that also serves the local community in Newham – which is why we’re making sure our plans are informed by feedback from local residents.

Through our two rounds of public consultations, we’ve already engaged with more than 3,000 people through in-person exhibitions and a dedicated website to better understand their priorities and questions – and are thrilled that 86% support our plans.

This page details some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about MSG Sphere. We’ll be updating it regularly to ensure local residents always have access to the most current information about the project, and the benefits it would bring.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, you can always contact us by email at london@msg.com (or complete the question submission form at the bottom of this page).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

THE VENUE AND LOCATION

WHAT IS MSG SPHERE?

MSG Sphere would be a state-of-the-art music and entertainment venue in Stratford, brought to you by The Madison Square Garden Company – the company behind the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York.

This exciting new venue would attract a wide variety of events, delivering something for everyone – including concerts, residencies, immersive experiences, family shows, corporate events, award shows, product launches and select sporting events. In addition to enhancing Stratford’s reputation as a world-class entertainment and cultural destination, our plans would also create a thriving destination that delivers important benefits, including jobs and community investment.

WHERE IS THE PROPOSED SITE?

The 4.7-acre site in Stratford, East London is located to the east of Westfield Stratford City shopping centre. The site was last used as a temporary coach park during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is currently inaccessible to the public as it is surrounded on all sides by active railway lines. MSG’s plan unlocks the potential to transform this inaccessible site through road and highway improvements, including three new pedestrian bridges that will help connect the eastern and western sides of Stratford.

WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN LONDON FOR THIS VENUE?

London is one of the world’s entertainment capitals and is a natural home for a state-of-the-art entertainment venue.

London has a population of nearly 8.8 million, which is almost identical to New York City at 8.5 million, but while the London market has two large-scale capacity venues, the New York market has seven.

We believe MSG Sphere will not only serve as a premier destination, but will also add to the market’s capacity, driving growth in London’s overall market – to the benefit of artists, fans and partners.

WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN STRATFORD FOR THIS VENUE?

As one of the best-connected parts of London, Stratford is ideal for a venue like MSG Sphere. The proposed MSG Sphere site has a Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) of 6b – the highest level – which means the site has excellent access to multiple modes of public transportation. The site is close to five railway lines and multiple bus services – including the Central and Jubilee lines on the Underground and a London Overground station, as well as Crossrail (the Elizabeth Line), which will be operational when the venue opens.

The site is also adjacent to the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre and sits in the heart of the Stratford Metropolitan Centre. In addition, the location is next to East Bank – London’s newest cultural and educational district in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a developing destination for culture and arts. So we look forward to being amongst excellent company as another major cultural site.

WHAT IS THE CAPACITY OF MSG SPHERE?

The main venue would have a scalable capacity of up to 17,500 seated, or 21,500 when there is a mix of seated and standing.

HOW BIG WILL MSG SPHERE BE?

MSG Sphere would have a diameter of 120 metres, and at its highest point, would be 90 metres tall.

For comparison, the Telford Homes Stratford Central Tower and Halo Stratford near the MSG Sphere site are 103 and 133 metres tall, respectively, and the London Eye and St. Paul’s Cathedral are 135 and 112 metres tall, respectively.

WHEN DO YOU EXPECT MSG SPHERE TO BE BUILT?

Our planning application is currently being considered by the LLDC, and we anticipate a determination by the end of calendar year 2019. Our plan is to begin construction on MSG Sphere in London only once we have received all necessary approvals and have further advanced our design for the venue.

WHAT MAKES MSG SPHERE DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER VENUES IN LONDON?

MSG Sphere would be unlike any venue in the world — featuring cutting-edge technologies that enable the creation of immersive experiences that have yet to be imagined.

MSG Sphere would also complement London’s existing large-scale venues by creating additional capacity. Our experience with the Forum in Los Angeles and the Barclays Center in New York proves that in the right market, a new large-scale venue can grow the overall concert market by bringing in more acts and more entertainment.

So whether it’s new forms of entertainment or a greater number of acts, we believe the addition of MSG Sphere would be extremely positive for Stratford, London and the UK.

WHAT WILL THE VENUE LOOK LIKE?

MSG Sphere would have several distinctive features, including an iconic spherical shape, a hallmark design element of MSG Sphere venues.

The interior of the main venue would include cutting-edge technologies such as the largest and highest resolution LED screen in the world, an adaptive acoustics system that delivers crystal-clear audio to every guest, a haptic system that will convey bass so the audience can “feel” the experience and wireless connectivity that delivers 25 megabits per second for every guest.

In addition to the main venue, the plans for MSG Sphere feature a smaller music club/nightclub, retail space, a café and restaurants, and attractively landscaped publicly-accessible outdoor spaces, including an urban square, park space, nature play space for children, seating areas and an outdoor gym.

WHO IS DESIGNING THE VENUE?

The vision for MSG Sphere, including its design, is being driven by a talented team at MSG, which has also brought on board Populous, one of the world’s most acclaimed design and architectural firms, to help make MSG’s vision a reality – both in London and Las Vegas.

HOW WILL YOU ACCOMMODATE GUESTS WITH DISABILITIES?

We want everyone to enjoy their experience at MSG Sphere, which is why our design will take into account the needs of a wide range of people. And as our plans evolve, we will continue to consider how best to accommodate our guests.

We’ve already taken steps to ensure that guests with mobility issues would be able to enter, use and exit the venue safely and easily. These include providing a minimum of 155 wheelchair seats with an associated companion seat, as well as a free of charge shuttle service to and from the site that stops at Westfield Car Park and Stratford Regional Station Main Ticket Hall.

WHAT HOURS OF THE DAY WILL MSG SPHERE BE OPEN?

The site would generally be open and accessible to the public between 6:00 a.m. and midnight.

The timing of the events in the main venue would vary, but would typically be matinee, evening and late-finishing events.

WILL THE PUBLIC BE ABLE TO USE THE OUTDOOR SPACES?

Our plan includes an urban square, park space, a nature play space for children, seating areas and an outdoor gym – there would be certain times when we restrict access to these spaces for everyone’s safety, this includes when the overall venue is at capacity, overnight and for specific maintenance work.

But for the majority of the time, we hope that all of the MSG Sphere spaces will benefit the community by serving as gathering places.

WHAT KIND OF EVENTS WILL TAKE PLACE AT MSG SPHERE?

MSG Sphere would host a wide variety of events. While our focus is on music and entertainment, this state-of-the-art venue would attract a diverse range of content – including concerts, residencies, immersive experiences, family shows, corporate events, award shows, product launches and select sporting events.

WHAT WILL YOU SHOW ON THE EXTERNAL DISPLAY?

Depending on the artist and event, we may show content linked to the artist or production taking place in the main venue, or content from our partners or advertisers.

HAVE ANY ARTISTS ALREADY EXPRESSED INTEREST IN MSG SPHERE IN LONDON?

The artists we’ve spoken with about MSG Sphere are excited about the possibilities created by this state-of-the-art venue. And while we have nothing specific to announce right now, MSG has a long history of successful partnerships with the world’s most renowned artists, and we look forward to sharing additional information on this front as we move forward.

HOW MANY EVENTS WILL YOU HOLD EACH YEAR?

Our plan includes approximately 300 ‘event days’ per year, which means there is a ticketed event taking place at the main venue. There is also the potential for more than one event per day.

JOBS AND ECONOMY

HOW MANY JOBS WILL BE CREATED DURING CONSTRUCTION AND WHEN MSG SPHERE IS IN OPERATION?

MSG asked leading economic consultancies, Volterra and Ernst & Young (EY), to conduct comprehensive economic impact analyses on the MSG Sphere project.

Volterra estimates the project would support 1,000 direct construction jobs on site per year over the 3-year construction period, and 1,200 direct ongoing jobs onsite once the venue opens.

Because MSG Sphere would be a premier destination, attracting people from other parts of the UK and around the world, EY projects the new venue would have a larger effect. EY’s estimates, which include not only those jobs directly onsite but also indirect and induced effects, are that the project would support:

  • Up to 4,300 jobs annually during the 3-year construction phase – 3,400 of those in London
  • Up to 3,200 jobs every year when the venue is open – 2,900 of those in London

WHAT KIND OF JOBS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT MSG SPHERE?

MSG is committed to providing employment opportunities across a wide range of skill sets. These opportunities would range from full-time and specialist roles to help run the venue, to part-time roles when artists are performing. MSG would also make training initiatives and local hiring a priority – with specific goals to promote opportunities for local residents.

HOW WILL YOU MAKE SURE JOBS GO TO LOCAL RESIDENTS?

Local hiring is a priority for MSG. We’ve already been working with Newham Borough Council, including Newham Workplace, and the LLDC on setting specific hiring targets for Newham. The target we have committed to as part of our plan is that 35% of all construction jobs and 35% of all operational jobs would be filled by Newham residents.

We are not only engaging with Newham, but other boroughs as well – Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest – so that many jobs go to qualified local residents.

We’ve also committed to:

  • Providing employment opportunities across a wide range of skill sets
  • Having a dedicated MSG team work with local recruitment and business schemes to identify residents for short-and long-term employment opportunities
  • Making investments in job training initiatives

WILL THERE BE ANY APPRENTICESHIP SCHEMES?

The target we have committed to as part of our plan is that 5% of all construction jobs and 5% of all operational jobs be comprised of trainees or apprentices.

WILL YOU PAY THE LONDON LIVING WAGE?

All full-time and part-time staff directly employed by MSG would be paid at least the London Living Wage. We would also promote the London Living Wage for all construction and other roles that are not directly employed by MSG by taking this into account when awarding contracts.

LOCAL COMMUNITY

HOW WILL PLANS FOR MSG SPHERE BENEFIT NEWHAM COUNCIL AND RESIDENTS?

Our vision for MSG Sphere goes beyond building the world’s most advanced live entertainment venue.  We want to transform a site in Newham – that has laid undeveloped for many years – into a thriving destination that delivers important benefits for the local community.

According to our EY commissioned report, it’s estimated that MSG Sphere would generate £50m in revenue every year for local businesses in Newham, as part of the significant economic benefits generated by this project. MSG is not using any public funding for the MSG Sphere project.

MSG would work with the local boroughs so that – out of the thousands of jobs created – as many of those jobs as possible are filled by local residents. As part of this, we have committed to a target of 35% of all construction jobs and 35% of all operational jobs be filled by Newham residents. MSG would also make a £2.1m contribution to Newham Council towards employment and training initiatives. Find out more about the local jobs MSG Sphere would create.

Our plans also include a financial contribution towards improvements to Stratford station, which we are currently discussing with TfL – and investment of around £6m to improve roads and public spaces in areas owned by Newham Council that are around the MSG Sphere site.

In addition, we are committed to being an outstanding community partner to Newham – read more about the projects we’ve already started locally.

HOW WILL LOCAL BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM MSG SPHERE?

MSG Sphere is expected to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, as well as contribute billions of pounds to the economy – including, according to our EY commissioned report, £50m in visitor spending per year for local businesses in Newham once the venue is operational.

We will also work with Newham Council and other partners to engage with local businesses to improve their ability to take advantage of supply chain opportunities arising from the development of MSG Sphere.

WHAT COMMITMENTS HAS MSG MADE TO NEWHAM AND THE LOCAL AREA?

MSG has a history of being a strong partner in the communities in which we operate. Throughout our planning process, we have sought input from people in the community. To date, we’ve engaged with more than 3,000 people through in-person consultations and a dedicated website to better understand priorities and concerns.

We are committed that our proposal is informed by local community input, and will continue to engage with the local community as we refine our plans.

Our vision is to provide a long-term investment in the future of Stratford and London, creating thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of economic impact over the next two decades. Find out more about the economic benefits it will bring.

In addition, we want to be an outstanding community partner – read more about the projects we’ve already started locally, which are just the beginning.

HOW WILL YOUR COMMITMENT TO CONTRIBUTE A MINIMUM 10 DAYS EVERY YEAR RENT-FREE AT THE SMALL MUSIC VENUE WORK?

Artists are important to us and MSG has already enjoyed championing some of the city’s emerging artists through our MSG Up & Coming programme, which highlights grassroots artists in London and the venues where they play.

MSG will make the smaller music venue in MSG Sphere available for a minimum of 10 days every year rent-free to support grassroots music and local musicians, as well as community groups. This commitment includes a contribution of up to £5,000 per event towards the operating costs.

The rent-free days are part of our larger, long-term Community Involvement Programme, which we are continuing to develop in collaboration with local and community groups. We look forward to sharing additional details on this and other community initiatives once we’re further along in the process.

HOW WILL THE VENUE AFFECT SMALL INDEPENDENT VENUES IN THE AREA?

We believe that small and large venues can not only coexist, but also complement each other, as a thriving music and entertainment market overall creates opportunities for a full range of artists and venues.

We’ve specifically looked at the New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas markets and saw growth in the number of small venue concerts after a new large-scale venue opened.

In London, we have already begun to champion new acts and smaller venues through our MSG Up & Coming programme, a monthly spotlight of grassroots artists and the venues they are playing around the capital – these are artists that could one day play at MSG Sphere.

HOW WILL YOU KEEP LOCAL PEOPLE UPDATED ON YOUR PLANS AND WILL THEY HAVE A SAY?

As we enter into a statutory consultation process, led by the LLDC, we will continue to keep the community updated on our progress through in-person meetings and our online and social media channels.

To date, we have engaged with over 3,000 local people on our plans for MSG Sphere, and we are committed that our proposal will continue to be informed by and responsive to local community input.

In addition to this, if you have any questions, or would like more information, you can always contact us by email at london@msg.com (or complete the question submission form at the bottom of this page.)

SOME MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERNS OVER THE VENUE. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THEM?

We believe our vision for MSG Sphere represents a compelling opportunity for Newham that includes a world-class venue, local employment opportunities, and ongoing benefits for both the economy and the community.

We’re committed to engaging with as many people as possible. We were delighted to share our vision with several thousand residents during our two community consultations – where 86% of them said they supported bringing a new large-scale entertainment venue to Stratford. And we continue to engage with local residents who have expressed concerns.

As we continue to move through this process, we remain committed that our proposal be informed by and responsive to local community input.

TRANSPORT

HOW WILL PEOPLE GET TO THE VENUE?

One of the many reasons we chose Stratford as our location is because it is one of the best-connected parts of London. The proposed MSG Sphere site has a Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) of 6b – the highest level – which means it has excellent access to multiple modes of public transportation. The site is close to five railway lines and multiple bus services – including the Central and Jubilee lines on the Underground and a London Overground station, as well as Crossrail (the Elizabeth Line), which will be operational when the venue opens. The night tube service now runs on Friday and Saturday nights, and Stratford station is served by both the Jubilee and Central lines.

As part of our plans, MSG would make an investment to change an inaccessible site into a central destination that brings the eastern and western sides of Stratford together. These substantial improvements will create a better environment for pedestrians, cyclists and any visitors to our venue, and include:

  • Three new pedestrian bridges – two from Montfichet Road and one from the Town Centre Link Bridge – that will improve connectivity between Stratford Town Centre and the Olympic Park
  • An improved pedestrian friendly junction at Angel Lane
  • Enhancements to Montfichet Road, including reducing the number of traffic lanes, widening the footways and creating a dedicated cycleway

MSG is not using any public funding for the MSG Sphere project.

WHAT WILL MSG SPHERE MEAN FOR STRATFORD STATION?

We want MSG Sphere to have a reputation as a venue that is quick and easy to get to and from. For Stratford station, the majority of weekday congestion is caused by residents and office workers travelling at the same time, so our plan includes primarily scheduling events to run at different times to peak rush hours. When MSG Sphere events coincide with events at the London Stadium, other events on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park or peak shopping periods at Westfield Stratford City, we would work together with our partners on a combined events plan and crowd management strategy.

Our plan also includes making a financial contribution to further improvements at Stratford station, to enhance the exceptional public transport connectivity of the site.

WHERE WILL VISITORS PARK?

The MSG Sphere site has a Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) of 6b – the highest level – therefore the vast majority of visitors are expected to travel by public transport.

For those who choose to drive, there is the Westfield Car Park and Stratford Centre Car Park, which currently have approximately 5,000 parking spaces.

HOW WILL YOU MAKE SURE CONSTRUCTION OF MSG SPHERE DOESN’T CAUSE ADDITIONAL LOCAL TRAFFIC?

Our goal is to cause as little inconvenience as possible, so all construction traffic would be marshalled away from the site, meaning construction traffic arrives on a ‘just in time’ basis – with no queuing or vehicles idling on local roads.

We will be working closely with the LLDC, Newham Council, and local bodies to ensure traffic movements during construction are fully understood and that operations cause as little inconvenience as possible.

We are continuing to develop this plan and once a general contractor has been chosen, we will provide a more detailed Construction Logistics Plan to the planning authority.

ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

WHAT IS MSG SPHERE’S CARBON FOOTPRINT?

MSG is committed to achieving high standards of sustainable design and construction. This includes incorporating renewable energy sources and low-carbon technologies where possible, and connecting to the existing district heating and cooling network generated from the adjacent ENGIE energy centre.  MSG will also pay over £2.4m towards the LLDC’s carbon offset fund, which the LLDC will use to fund carbon saving projects.

WHAT WILL BE THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF MSG SPHERE COMPARED TO ITS CURRENT STATE?

MSG Sphere would take an abandoned coach park and create a thriving destination that serves the surrounding community by providing a range of indoor and outdoor spaces. These spaces include restaurants and a café, as well as attractively landscaped, publicly-accessible outdoor areas such as park space, a nature play space for children, and an outdoor gym.

As part of transforming this inaccessible, unused site, we are committed to minimising any negative impacts to the environment by optimising sustainability and incorporating best practice design, construction and operation measures in our plans, including:

  • Utilising zero carbon and low carbon technologies where possible, and connecting to the existing district heating and cooling network
  • Achieving BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’, which fits with the planning policy for a venue of this scale
  • Promoting sustainable methods of travel to Stratford, which has excellent public transport connectivity
  • Water efficient design measures
  • Committing to ensuring all forms of pollution are minimised in design and construction, and during the operational phases
  • Delivering on-site biodiversity benefits, including a green roof and significant soft landscaping

WILL THE VENUE CREATE NOISE POLLUTION?

MSG Sphere was designed so that it will not cause noise pollution. The site is surrounded on all sides by active railway lines – so preventing sound from getting in is important, as is preventing sound from getting out.

We also understand there may be some concerns from our neighbours about noise caused by crowds travelling to and from an event. To address this, we are developing a comprehensive operating plan for crowd management that ensures visitors to MSG Sphere get to and from local transport as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible, causing minimal disturbance to local residents.

WILL THE VENUE CREATE LIGHT POLLUTION?

We are very conscious of our neighbours and any impact our venue might have on them, and have taken several steps to mitigate the potential for light pollution.

MSG Sphere has been designed with a fully-programmable exterior that gives us complete control over the light emitted by the building – including the ability to dim, turn on, or turn off all, or portions of, the exterior.

Other steps we have taken include establishing set operating hours and luminance levels for the venue’s external lighting to ensure we prevent significantly impacting neighbouring buildings.

ASK US ABOUT MSG SPHERE

If you have any questions regarding MSG Sphere complete the question submission form below!