MSG says plans for London Sphere were “hijacked” by mayor Sadiq Khan

“Everyone should be alarmed by how easily the government’s established process was tossed aside by one politically motivated official,” the company said in a statement.

MSG Sphere in Vegas

Image: Greg Doherty / Getty Images

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MSG has accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of ‘hijacking’ plans for the city’s planned Sphere venue with his “bogus last-minute report”.

Khan rejected MSG’s plans to build the Vegas-style sphere in London last week, citing the “unacceptable negative impact on local residents.” The UK government has since stepped in, with levelling-up secretary Michael Gove ordering a six-week pause as he considers calling in the mayor’s decision to pull the plug on the development of the east London venue.

In a new statement, the entertainment company slams Khan’s decision as “last-minute”, saying that the move had derailed a planning process that spanned five years.

“The entire five-year planning process was hijacked by the mayor and his bogus last-minute report,” the statement read. “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.”

“Moreso, everyone should be alarmed by how easily the government’s established process was tossed aside by one politically motivated official. Mr Gove’s action, although commendable, still appears to us to be more of the same, and we cannot continue to participate in a process that can be so easily undermined by political winds.”

“As we said previously, we will focus on the many forward-thinking cities.”

MSG Sphere London was proposed for a site near the Olympic Park in Stratford, near Westfield Stratford City. If built, the facility would be 120 metres wide and 90 metres tall, featuring an exterior that’s completely covered in illuminated screens.

It would be the second MSG Sphere to be built, following in the footsteps of MSG Sphere Las Vegas, which recently opened with its first ever residency from Irish rock band U2.

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