Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has rejected plans to build the MSG Sphere in Stratford, East London. The cavernous 21,500-capacity live music venue had promised to bring 1,200 jobs to the area and would have been almost as high as Big Ben, however, there were concerns about the impact the building would have on the local area. Local residents, institutions and councillors campaigned against the venue on the basis of the health risks and disruption caused by 1,000,000 LED light bulbs and bright advertisements on the exterior of the sphere, as well as the expected strains on local infrastructure.
A spokesperson for the Mayor explained that while Sadiq Khan is open to investment from around the world and would like to see world-class, innovative entertainment venues in the capital, he believes that the proposals would negatively impact local residents. This follows independently conducted research revealing the effects of MSG Sphere on the surrounding community.
Plans to build the venue were initially proposed in 2018, and designs were eventually revealed the following year. The proposed new venue in East London would be the third major concert arena in the city alongside the OVO Arena Wembley and The O2 Arena in Greenwich. Designed by architectural firm Populous, who designed Wembley Stadium, the building would have a diameter the same as the London Eye (120meters).
Green Party Councillor for Stratford Olympic Park, Nate Higgins, and West Ham MP Lyn Brown supported campaigners against the MSG Sphere. The community raised concerns about how the monstrous venue would put further strain on local transportation, particularly the Stratford station, which serves visitors to Westfield shopping mall and West Ham’s 60,000-seater stadium. A similar venue was opened in Las Vegas earlier this year and has already recorded significant losses
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