Plans for London MSG Sphere rejected in light pollution dispute

Plans for London MSG Sphere rejected in light pollution dispute
London mayor Sadiq Khan has rejected plans for a version of the Las Vegas sphere to be built in London, following concerns around the scale of light pollution and other issues.

The London version of the Sphere, originally slated for construction on the edge of the Olympic Park in Stratford, London, had its plans blocked on three key grounds by the London mayor, citing the impact of light pollution on Stratford residents, costs of energy usage by the Sphere and the impact on heritage sites in the area.

Supporters of the project claim that the arena will strengthen the city’s economy by £2.5 billion, generating an additional £50 million a year to local businesses and creating 1,200 jobs.

The London Sphere would stand almost 100 metres in height and 120 metres high, covered completely in LED panels in a similar, if not identical, way to the Las Vegas Sphere.

The rejection by the London Mayor does not mean the end of the road for the London Sphere, however, as the application will now pass to the UK government’s Communities secretary for a final ruling.

The news follows in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Formula 1 Grand Prix, which saw the MSG Sphere looming large over the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix to display live footage, driver cards and ads during the prestigious racing event.

Formula 1 put a ban on the colours of content being shown, specifically the colours red, yellow and blue. The decision was made due to the possibility that the colours could be mistaken for signals when travelling at high speed, causing a risk to drivers.

In a statement, a spokesperson from Sphere Entertainment said: “While we are disappointed in London’s decision, there are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities. We will concentrate on those.”

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