Residents “terrified” of plans to construct an enormous Las Vegas-style ball in East London


Plans for the new giant Madison Square Garden Sphere music venue in East London are due to be decided this month, terrifying local residents at the prospect of the giant ball getting the green light.

Madison Square Garden (MSG) group plans to bring a new, cutting-edge music and immersive entertainment venue to Stratford.

At full capacity, the spherical building, which at 120 meters is almost the height of the London Eye, could hold 21,500 people.

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MSG claims that the globe will “take you to whole new worlds” with the largest and highest resolution LED screen in the world. adaptive acoustics and a haptic system.

MSG competitor AEG, which owns The O2, computer-generated images of what the sphere will look like from the neighboring Legacy Tower

But it’s the world around it – Newham’s – that residents are most concerned about.

On the outside of the sphere there will be 190,000ft² bright area with 36,000,000 LED lights that MSG is said to have used for advertising.

The Stop MSG Sphere campaign group said: “Advertising on this scale is unprecedented and the light pollution is dangerous for local residents and passing motorists.”

A Legacy Tower resident who would overlook the ball of light wrote to the campaign group saying the view was “really terrifying.”

West Ham MP Lyn Brown wrote a letter on behalf of her constituency to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) group making the final call on the project.

She said, “The presence of bright light until after midnight on some days and starting at 6 a.m. clearly has the potential to affect the health and wellbeing of those living nearby.”

Ceren Sonmez, who lives across from the planned location, wrote on the group’s Facebook page: “Our friends joked that it would at least lower our electricity bills – we don’t have to turn on the lights day or night.

MSG insists that developments in the local economy would bring billions of pounds in and Newham would provide thousands of jobs

“Nobody expects a gigantic ball of light to hit their front door, no matter where they live.”

An almost identical $ 1.8 billion sphere is currently being built in Las Vegas next to the Venetian resort in Vegas, which is slated to open in 2023.

Local residents argue that Sin City is a more suitable destination for such a venue than on the edge of the overcrowded residential area of ​​Stratford and next to the 60,000-seat London Stadium.

Stop MSG Sphere believes the projected increase of 60,000 concert-goers each day would put heavy loads on roads and public transportation.

The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which owns O2 and would therefore be a direct competitor of MSG Sphere, created computer-generated images to show what the sphere will look like for residents after construction

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A company spokesperson said: “MSG’s building application is hopelessly inadequate and does not address the issues arising from the new London context and the specific limitations of the Stratford location, and is in breach of planning guidelines in several areas.

“The proposals would exacerbate congestion at the already overcrowded Stratford station, and no additional train connections are proposed to mitigate the impact on the Jubilee Line.

“It is imperative that this area of ​​the city or the public transport network, especially the Jubilee Line, which is critical to the traffic of guests to and from The O2, does not create traffic jams or overcrowding.

“We believe that the MSG scheme is basically the wrong proposal in the wrong place and has serious technical defects.”

MSG argues that the site is “undeveloped” and, if approved, would “become a thriving travel destination that also serves as a long-term investment in London’s future, supporting thousands of jobs and delivering billions in economic benefits to Newham, London” . and Great Britain. “

MSG was contacted for comment.

What do you think of the proposals – should they be continued? Let us know in the comments.

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