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Unique Las Vegas Strip Venue Nears Completion

The project, which sits near the Venetian Resort and Casino, has elicited a lot of "wait, what the heck is that" responses since it first started to take shape.

Las Vegas has just about every sort of structure imaginable. The famed Las Vegas Strip literally hosts a casino that looks like an Egyptian pyramid (MGM Resorts International's (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report Luxor) as well as replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower (at MGM's New York, New York and Caesars Entertainment's (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report Paris Las Vegas respectively.

Those structures don't even stand out as all that unique on a street that features a near-endless array of properties designed to get your attention. That could be in the gaudy style of Caesars Palace's Roman architecture or the bold gold color of Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report properties.

Las Vegas has become a city where it takes a lot to get anyone's attention. On a 4.2 mile stretch of road where it's not uncommon to see Batman talking to Captain America or scantily-clad showgirls and shirtless musclebound men selling pictures steps away from Mickey Mouse or the animal public servants from PAW Patrol, it takes a lot to get someone to be curious.

The new project being built just east of the Venetian's Expo convention center, looks like a giant circular structure. It's attention getting and it's getting closer to opening for business.

MSG Sphere Las Vegas Lead JS

What Is Being Built On the Las Vegas Strip?

The mystery structure is actually the first-of-its kind MSG Sphere, a new sort of entertainment venue. It's 366-foot-high steel sphere that will "be covered with about 580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED panels, forming the largest LED screen on Earth," according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "The 17,500-seat venue will have a high-resolution display plane, which is larger than three football fields, the world’s largest beam-forming audio system with more than 160,000 speakers and it will deliver superior sound to every seat in the house."

The structure will soon be "topped off," according to the paper, but it's not expected to open until 2023. It's an eye-catching venue that promises to deliver some unique experiences that has cost its owner MSG Entertainment (MSGE) - Get Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. Class A Report $1.3 billion so far, according to comments made during the company's most-recent earnings call.

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"Our first MSG Sphere venue remains on track to open in Las Vegas in the second half of calendar 2023," said MSG Entertainment CFO David Byrnes during the call. "...We plan to top off the building's Steel Exosphere later this month, a key milestone in our construction process.  It will be an impactful display for partners to showcase their brands, create unique activations and promote content."

MSG Partners With Formula 1

And while MSG has not fully articulated exactly how the Sphere will be used, the company has already made a deal with Formula 1, which will bring a race to Las Vegas in 2023.

"We recently formed an exciting multiyear partnership for MSG Sphere with Formula 1, starting with next year's inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. F1's entry into Las Vegas reinforces the market's position as the destination for major sports and entertainment events," Byrnes said.

He also laid out why the deal was made and the role the Sphere will play.

"MSG Sphere's prime position along the circuit presents a high-profile opportunity for both our company and F1. We will be able to showcase the venue to a global audience of entertainment and sports fans both in-person and watching broadcast of the event around the world," he said "And this integrated partnership will give F1 significant access to the venue and our grounds for thousands of race fans as well as takeovers of our exterior LED display for race-related content activations and advertising."

The CFO made it clear that the company has a broad vision for the new venue.

"As we make our way toward the opening of the venue, we've been energized by the interest we're seeing from potential partners," he added. "This includes discussions with leading filmmakers about the creation of original immersive attractions with global artists for concert residencies at the venue, with promoters of marquee events and with potential corporate partners, who see substantial value in the platform's capabilities inside and out."