Las Vegas is about to get a piece of Manhattan glitz, as Irving Azoff, the chairman and CEO of Azoff Madison Square Garden Entertainment, looks to bring a brand new, non-sporting arena to America’s raunchy desert playground.
The same team which was behind the restoration of the legendary Forum in Los Angeles, Azoff and his MSG group will work with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. to build a brand new, 17,500-person venue in Vegas.
The builders are billing their new 400,000-square-foot space, which will be located on Sands Avenue on property owned by the casino group, as “the world’s largest venue built specifically for music and entertainment.” For reference, Madison Square Garden itself, with chairs on all four sides, seats just over 18,000.
The capacity of the space will be scaleable, meaning that productions can range from relatively intimate affairs to massive packed-house extravaganzas.
Because it won’t be designed to serve the needs of sporting crowds, each and every seat will be in front of the stage, providing optimal views and audio for the audience. And speaking of sound, designers will be sure to take acoustics into deeper consideration than most sports arenas — creating a rare, good-sounding space within the large-venue market.
The new venue is an obvious follow up to the extremely successful revamp of the Forum which Azoff undertook previously, and the magnate continues to look to expand his company’s ownership of non-sporting arenas worldwide. For him, Vegas was the best next step.
“Vegas is, in our opinion, the entertainment capital of the world, and as we roll out these buildings we thought Vegas was the right place to go,” said Azoff of the deal to Billboard.
That said, there is considerable competition in the Vegas marketplace, as this new venue will be the fifth stadium-sized locale in the city. For his part, Azoff remains unfazed by his competition.
“I don’t worry about the other four [arenas],” Azoff said, “I just know we’re going to build the greatest place in the world for acts, they are going to want to play there.”
Because of permitting and construction, the new venue is still several years away.