MSG Reportedly In “Serious Talks” To Build A New Sphere Venue In Abu Dhabi

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSG) is in “serious talks” to build a new MSG Sphere venue in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to a new report from the New York Post.

Despite losing its CFO and reporting a $98.4 million loss on the Las Vegas Sphere in November, sources close to the company told the New York Post that billionaire Sphere owner James Dolan is pitching investors on a second venue in Abu Dhabi.

“We are in substantive discussions with multiple international markets,” reads a recent company statement. Sphere Entertainment has yet to come forward and officially name the markets.

The “back and forth” discussions over a new Sphere in the UAE’s glamorous capital follow recently stalled talks of new venues in Saudi Arabia and South Korea, in addition to strong public and mayoral opposition to plans for another Sphere in London. 

“The entire 5-year planning process was hijacked by the Mayor and his bogus last minute report,” a Sphere spokesperson told the Daily Mail. “Londoners should be dismayed that they are not going to benefit from this groundbreaking project, and others looking to invest in London should certainly be wary.”

The London Sphere could still go ahead after UK Levelling-up Secretary Michael Gove blocked London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s rejection of a planning application last month. Gove will now reassess the plans during a six-week pause on the application.

Though it would seem that Sphere Entertainment is in dire financial straits, an MSG analyst told the New York Post that the company still has about $428 million in cash, including $225 million borrowed earlier this month, which could help cushion recent Las Vegas losses as they look towards development elsewhere.

Featured image from @spherevegas via Instagram. Credit: Michael Bittle.

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