MSG Sphere London Officially Dead—Developers Abandon Project

MSG Sphere London project dead
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MSG Sphere London project dead
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Photo Credit: Madison Square Garden Company

Following the London mayor’s rejection of MSG Sphere London plans over fears of harmful effects on residents—developers have officially withdrawn their plans.

In a letter to the UK government’s Planning Inspectorate, the MSG developers said the plan had become “merely a political football between rival parties.” Plans for the MSG Sphere London first emerged in 2018, with permission for planning the project sought in March 2019. London mayor Sadiq Khan was supportive of the plan initially, but negative feedback from residents and planning officer reports led to the project being denied approval in November 2023.

In December 2023, the UK Housing Secretary Michael Gove asked for a review of the plans by the Planning Inspectorate. With elections taking place in the UK this year, the project would become a major focus issue between the ruling Conservative Party and the mayor’s opposition Labour Party.

MSG decided to withdraw the plans completely and focus on “forward-thinking cities around the world.” So who will be next on the list for an MSG Sphere outside of Las Vegas?

“After spending millions of pounds acquiring our site in Stratford and collaboratively engaging in a five-year planning process with numerous governmental bodies, including the local planning authority who approved our plans following a careful review, we cannot continue to participate in a process that is merely a politically football between rival parties,” that letter reads.

Other potential cities for a MSG Sphere project include Hanam, a suburb of Seoul, South Korea. Feedback on the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas has been less than stellar from residents of the city, too.

“This feels like they were so obsessed with the fact that they could, that they overlooked the fact that they shouldn’t,” one comment online suggested. “Yes, the tech is amazing. Of that there’s no doubt. However [the building] is just obscene. It looks big, bulbous, and distracting from the outside.”

That description could apply to any number of attractions across Las Vegas—which is probably the perfect place for the MSG Sphere. For now, the London Sphere dream is dead.