THE PLAN by America’s Madison Square Garden Company (MSGC) to build a 21,500-capacity MSG Sphere arena four miles (6.4 kms) from The O2 (cap. 21,000) in London is delayed with no planned completion date given.
MSGC, which runs the 18,600-capacity Madison Square Garden in New York, is also constructing an MSG Sphere in Las Vegas, and says that project is on schedule to open in 2021, although aspects are under review.
The London venue had been set to open in 2022.
MSG submitted a planning application to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) in March, and were expecting a decision by the end of the year, but that will now run into the New Year.
“We continue to engage with the London Legacy Development Corporation and local stakeholders on our exciting plans for MSG Sphere in London,” an MSG spokesperson tells LIVE UK.
“As can be expected for a project of this scale, we are providing additional information as requested by the LLDC to address outstanding questions.”
The application caused dismay among some locals residents, with a Stop MSG Sphere Facebook campaign and petition, which had 1,138 by mid-December, launched when the news was first announced last year.
Since then, a survey of 1,019 local people carried out for MSGC in June and July found that 85 per cent supported the Sphere project, with the main two reasons being, it will create and support jobs (58 per cent) and bring investment to the area (34 per cent). The figure rose to 90 per cent of local 18 to 24-year-olds and 25 to 34-year-olds.
If the 15 per cent opposed or neutral, 36 per cent were concerned about congestion on roads and local transport, while 21 per cent worried about a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour.