Las Vegas Sphere Owner in Talks About Second Location

Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan is exploring the possibility of establishing a second Sphere location in Abu Dhabi, following setbacks in previous planned locations for the cutting-edge arena. According to sources cited by the New York Post, Dolan is engaged in substantial discussions with the United Arab Emirates and is actively seeking investors for licensing the Sphere. Talks with Saudi Arabia and South Korea for new locations have seemingly hit obstacles, and a proposed site in east London faced opposition from residents and criticism from Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Abu Dhabi appears to be a more promising location for the concept, given its existing architectural landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab hotel in nearby Dubai. The recently completed 18,000-seat Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, hosting NBA games and concerts, adds to the city’s appeal.

In a recent public statement, Sphere Entertainment stated that they are in significant discussions with multiple international markets about constructing additional Spheres. These rumors about Abu Dhabi follow a December 5 securities filing revealing that Dolan’s Sphere Entertainment is contesting $224.8 million in capital expenditure accruals related to Sphere construction, much of which is in dispute and not expected to be paid. A trial is scheduled for February, with case details currently sealed.

Despite the Sphere reporting an operating loss of $98.4 million in the fiscal quarter ending September 30, the recent securities filing disclosed earnings of $75 million from its initial two major shows, U2‘s UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere residency and the film “Postcards From Earth” by Darren Aronofsky. However, the Sphere has yet to secure another residency following U2 for the time being.

Stay tuned for more news!