Sadiq Stops The Ball Rolling On Controversial Stratford Sphere

Sadiq Stops The Ball Rolling On Controversial Stratford Sphere
A huge purple globe rises above Stratford
The MSG Sphere London would have been almost identical to the MSG Sphere Las Vegas. Image: MSG Sphere London

Plans for the Stratford Sphere — a gargantuan globe covered in thousands of LED screens — will likely not be rolled out, after permission to build it was refused by the Mayor of London's office.

Earlier this year, we reported on the plans of The Madison Square Garden Entertainment Company (MSG) to use east London to host a sibling spherical enormo-ball to 'Sphere', which opened earlier this year in Las Vegas, and has been hosting a hyperbolic new show from Irish rockers U2.

But the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has now kicked MSG's proposals out of touch, with a report finding that a similar venue in Stratford would 'cause significant light intrusion', be 'bulky, unduly dominant and incongruous' and that 'the public benefits arising from the proposed development would not outweigh the less than substantial harm it would cause.'

A bulbous tower top is at left of picture with the London skyline, looking toward a sunset in the distance. The Shard is weirdly shortened, as though the developers of the new tower are having a
In 2019, Khan also put the kibosh on the Tulip skyscraper © DBOX for Foster + Partners

Pretty damning stuff — and not altogether unexpected, given that in 2019, Khan also put the kibosh on the proposals for the ostentatious Tulip skyscraper.

MSG hasn't taken the news too well, waspishly retorting that it'll focus on more 'forward-thinking' cities. (Maybe they could see if Blackpool would be game?) But this isn't quite the end of the road for the Stratford Sphere; MSG can now appeal to Communities Secretary, Michael Gove, who has the final say on the matter.

Last Updated 21 November 2023

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