LAS VEGAS — Cloaked in secrecy but already building buzz as one of Las Vegas’ most anticipated openings, Madison Square Garden’s $2.3 billion Sphere could be the ultimate experience of dollars and scents.
Due to open Sept. 29 with a U2 concert, the Sphere’s website is billing the giant black eight-ball-like bubble as “the world’s most cutting-edge venue” that will “redefine the future of entertainment.”
Excitement won’t be the only thing filling the air. The lucky few who have toured it were told the “next level” experience will include the latest frontier: linking an iconic light show with music and the use of fragrant scents.
Ticket prices will be “next level” as well, ranging from $501.35 to $1,495, easily the highest-priced show in town. U2 is returning from a four-year hiatus. Their five-week run will include 17 shows.
Pumped-in scents have been used for years at sports venues, usually to market sizzling hot dogs, popcorn and caramel corn. Hotels have for decades used scent marketing to form an emotional connection and enhance a mood. Live entertainment venues have frequently experimented with the idea. In 2016, the New York Times reported fresh-baked pies had an aromatic role in the Broadway show “Waitress.”
Even the seats will purposely shake during the magical sensory experience at what will officially be known as The Sphere at The Venetian.
For that matter, the whole neighborhood will be shaking come November, when Formula One makes its thundering debut in Las Vegas.
It is no coincidence that the race route was planned that way to maximize exposure of the Sphere. If all goes well, backers are hoping the smell of burning rubber and fuel exhaust will translate into a big win for the Sphere, F1 and the Las Vegas brand.
While the Sphere will not be a dedicated sports venue, the 17,500-seat venue will host select sports events with boxing, mixed martial arts and wrestling being talked about as options.
When the LA Clippers’ new home, the $2 billion Intuit Dome, opens next year, the four most expensive stadiums and arenas in the world will be in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
THE VEGAS SCENE… AND HEARD
There have been rumblings that Kevin Costner has been in Las Vegas, scouting rural sites for his next Western epic, “Horizon,” after his rumored departure from his massive hit, “Yellowstone.” I checked with Danette Tull of the Nevada Film Office. Costner hasn’t applied for any paperwork for filming, she said.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Cage’s psychological thriller, “Sympathy for the Devil,” comes out July 22. It was filmed in southern Nevada. He was the firm to use the new sound stage to help Nevada lure more movie makers to the desert.
The Vegas Golden Knights showed up en masse at Barry’s Prime Seafood at Circa with three trophies: the Stanley Cup, the Con Smythe, awarded to Jonathan Marchessault as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Clarence S. Campbell for winning the Western Conference. They brought the Stanley Cup into the kitchen, to the delight of the team of cooks.