AEG, the owners and operators of The O2 arena in London, has called for the planning application of the proposed MSG Sphere in Stratford to be withdrawn and resubmitted due to “significant concerns”.
The application, filed by the entertainment arm of US live sports and entertainment giant Madison Square Garden Company, proposes to develop a music venue that would have a scalable capacity of up to 17,500 seated, or 21,500 when there is a mix of seated and standing. The latter, in theory, would be greater than the official capacity of The O2, which is nearby the proposed arena site and operated by MSG’s rival AEG.
In March 2019, MSG submitted a planning application for the project, with an array of eye-catching technology features part of the proposal, which is due to be determined by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) in the coming months. In September, the firm entered amended plans for its proposed MSG Sphere venue in London after overcoming objections raised by Network Rail.
The proposal includes a music venue, nightclub, members lounge, restaurants, bars, and new bridges to create pedestrian connections across the site. The building would be composed of a ‘skin’ of LEDs that would be programmable and could display images on the surface of the building, including adverts.
However, in response to the 1,922-page amended document, AEG, in consultation with global law firm Dentons, said it is particularly concerned that MSG’s analysis of the transport impacts “remains incomplete” as MSG seeks to develop its first major venue outside of the United States.