Las Vegas Sphere Owner in “Serious Talks” to Open Second Location in Abu Dhabi: Report
The Las Vegas Sphere has taken the entertainment industry by storm with its innovative technology and jaw-dropping concerts since launching in September. James Dolan, the CEO of the venue's holding company, Madison Square Garden Entertainment, is now in "serious talks" to open a second location in Abu Dhabi, according to the New York Post.
Despite a snowballing Vegas Sphere budget, Dolan is pitching potential investors on an expansion with plans to license the venue and build a doppelgänger in the United Arab Emirates. He's reportedly facing a $225 million tab at the moment due to a feud over construction costs, which culminated in a lawsuit.
Some of the increased costs of building the Las Vegas Sphere are also tied to delays caused by the impact of the pandemic. Overall, the superstructure's costs ballooned to $2.3 billion, over-budget by $1.1 billion.
Plans to open a second Sphere location in London were previously thwarted by the city's mayor, Sadiq Khan, who turned down MSGE's proposal and claimed it would have caused "unacceptable harm to hundreds of residents." Dolan's decision to pitch the Sphere's development in Abu Dhabi, however, could ultimately prove a perfect match.
The Abu Dhabi metropolis is known for its lavish architecture and nightlife, catering to wealthy individuals for concerts, sporting events, dining and more. Moreover, the cost of opening a second location could be less considering the engineering and tech blueprint for its 1.2 million hockey puck-shaped LED screens has already been developed.
"We are in substantive discussions with multiple international markets," a Sphere representative said without explicitly naming Abu Dhabi.