Company strikes as London mayor rejects plan for giant Vegas-style sphere: ‘There are a lot of cities aiming for the future’ MSG Sphere

After months of controversy, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has rejected proposals to build a Las Vegas-style MSG Sphere in Stratford.

The venue would have a capacity of 21,500 people and would be located opposite the train station, near other concert venues that locals said would have disrupted their lives.

Mayor Khan cited concerns about light pollution, electricity bills and a lack of “green credentials” when explaining his decision.

A spokesman for the mayor said: “London is open to investment from around the world and Sadiq wants to see more world-class, ambitious, innovative entertainment venues in our city.

Residents had been offered blinds to avoid light pollution

(AFP via Getty Images)

“But as part of the consideration of the planning application for the MSG Sphere, the Mayor has seen independent evidence which shows that the current proposals would lead to an unacceptable negative impact on local residents.”

Some residents said The independent they had vowed to leave if the sphere was built, while others said it would be good for local businesses. The construction was expected to be covered in moving advertisements illuminated by LED panels for the next 25 years.

More than 1,000 residents objected to plans to build The Sphere in their area saying it would have significantly disrupted their lives.

It was estimated to cost a significant £800 million, with supporters suggesting it would add billions to London's economy.

The Sphere, which was designed by architect Populous, cost $2 billion to build in the Las Vegas desert, where U2 played to critical acclaim in October.

The Independent visited the site of plans to build the London MSG Sphere in Stratford

(Maira Butt)

However, critics complained that the desert was very different from the bustling metropolis of the city of London where West Ham's football stadium, concert venues, railway and tube stations were all within a relatively short radius.

said an MSG spokesperson The independent in October, that the project would bring 2,200 jobs to Stratford, adding about $2 billion to the London economy and $50 million in annual revenue for local residents.

Newham, the London borough that includes Stratford, is one of the most deprived in the country, with 36 per cent of its residents living in poverty.

They said at the time: “We are fully committed to bringing the Sphere to London and delivering its many cultural and economic benefits, including creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of pounds for the local economy, London and the UK.”

However, a spokesperson for Sphere Entertainment criticized the Mayor's latest decision and said on Monday: “While we are disappointed by London's decision, there are many forward-thinking cities that are keen to bring this technology to their communities. We will focus on them.”

The final decision now rests with Communities Secretary Michael Gove for the final decision.

Mr Gove had temporarily halted progress on the building, which had temporarily stopped both the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the Mayor of London from signing off on proposals.