Future Guest Experience 2020

September 28 - 29, 2020

Las Vegas, NV

Here's How The Madison Square Garden Company is Building a State-of-the-Art Venue in London

brought to you by WBR Insights

State-of-the-art venues are changing the way guest experiences are delivered. Not content with its legendary New York venue, The Madison Square Garden Company now has its sights set on merry old England for its new entertainment complex.

Named after James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, Madison Square is located at the intersection of 8th Avenue and 33rd Street in Manhattan, New York. The first venue to carry the name Madison Square Garden was leased to legendary circus showman P.T. Barnum and stood from 1879 until 1890. The first venue was later demolished to make way for a new building designed by legendary architect, Stanford White. A third Madison Square Garden was built on 8th Avenue by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, after which the previous site was demolished in 1968.

Today, Madison Square Garden is one of the world's most famous entertainment venues and hosts sporting and entertainment events enjoyed by millions. The company has revenues of $536.3 million.

A State-of-the-Art Venue

In early 2018, The Madison Square Garden Company announced its plans to move its iconic brand outside of the United States for the very first time with a brand new and state-of-the-art venue in London, England.

Dubbed "The Sphere", the new venue will take the appearance of a gigantic ball of light and color, which is sure to add yet another striking element to the UK capital's iconic skyline. The planned location for the Sphere is next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. To succeed, the new venue will have to take on the already established and incredibly popular O2 arena on the banks of the Thames.

(Image source: theguradian.com)

"London is one of the world's greatest cities, and we are delighted to be taking this first step towards making it the location for MSG's first international venue," said Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at The Madison Square Garden Company, James L. Dolan. "We believe that a large-scale, next-generation venue will not only become a premier destination, but also drive growth in London's overall music and entertainment market - benefiting artists and fans and serving as a long-term investment in the future of this incredible city."

However, it is the technology behind the new venue, rather than its location, which gives it the potential to deliver exciting guest experiences.

The Sphere

The glazed orb of The Sphere will have an 18,000-seat capacity, with further room for 5,000 standing guests, and will be packed to the rafters with innovative technology.

Chief among them is the ability for the roof vault to be turned into an enormous screen, capable of creating vivid projections. The screen can evoke the feeling of guests being underwater or in a dense forest, and promises to provide a new fourth dimension to performances on stage. Imagine watching a theatre performance where a character weaves a spell, only for the effects of the magic to appear larger than life over the audience, or a scientific presentation able to take thousands of people on a journey through the stars.

"From intimate grassroots music venues to spectacular arenas, London's buzzing live music scene is world-renowned," said Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. "It's great to welcome another world-class venue to the capital, to confirm London's position as a music powerhouse, and to boost still further our city's thriving night-time economy."

(Image source: theguradian.com)

His sentiments were backed by the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock. "It's great news that the world-famous Madison Square Garden Company has chosen London to be home for its first international venue. This cements both the capital and UK's reputation for leading the world in music and the creative industries. This ground-breaking arena in East London will not only create jobs, but help us continue to develop incredible artists, music, and innovative technology that will give fans an amazing experience."

Final Thoughts

The Sphere's innovative technology has the potential to deliver some truly next-generation guest experiences to the people of London. From its striking design to its breathtaking audio-visual technology, this ultra-modern venue seems set to hit all the right notes.

The final word goes to Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at The Madison Square Garden Company, James L. Dolan.

"MSG Sphere will provide a home where like-minded communities can come together to not only interact with the performance, but also with each other."

You can hear The Madison Square Garden Company's Executive Vice President of Ticketing, Suites, and Corporate Hospitality, John Abbamondi, speak at Future Guest Experiences 2018, in September, in Las Vegas, NV.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.