Dedicated to the Business of Contemporary Live Music

Orb concert venue plan yet to tee off

2 February 2018
The Golf Ball Venue

DESIGNS HAVE emerged for a new concert venue, already being dubbed the Golf Ball, in London.

New York’s Madison Square Garden Company (MSGC), which runs the city’s legendary Madison Square Garden (cap. 19,000), is behind the project, which will be located close to London Stadium (80,000) in Stratford, according to the Guardian newspaper.

It is claimed architect Populous has been commissioned to create the venue, shaped like a giant glass sphere and capable of accommodating up to 20,000 people.

Any potential venue would increase the friction between MSGC and rival venue operator AEG, which owns The O2 (21,000) and manages The SSE Arena – Wembley (12,750).

The two companies are at loggerheads after MSGC told artistes they must play its Los Angeles venue The Forum in (17,500), rather than AEG’s Staples Center (19,000), if they wanted to play Madison Square Garden. AEG responded by similarly linking bookings between the Staples Center and The O2 (see LIVE UK issue 210.

However, there is no evidence plans for the new arena will go-ahead, as site owner Westfield, which operates the nearby shopping centre, and Populous have both declined to comment.

Furthermore, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the planning authority responsible for the area, says it has yet to be officially approached.

“We are not in formal pre-planning discussions with any party about this site,” says an LLDC spokeswoman. “We have received no full applications nor held any pre-app discussions.”

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