The new Sphere venue in Las Vegas has reported a loss of $98.4 million (£80.5million).
The multi-billion dollar venue, operated by the company that owns Madison Square Garden, opened on September 29 with a residency performed by U2. The company reported revenues of $118million, but it is down 71% from a year ago, according to The New York Post.
Revenue from the venue included $4.1million from the sold-out U2 shows and $2.6million from suite licensing and advertising on its exosphere. Meanwhile, a survey of Wall Street analysts has predicted a quarterly loss of $1.27 a share.
In addition, The Sphere’s chief financial officer, Gautam Ranji, has reportedly quit according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The filing claims his resignation was “not a result of any disagreement with the company’s independent auditors or any member of management on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or internal controls”.
However, The New York Post reports that he suddenly quit after CEO James Dolan was “yelling and screaming” at Ranji. “They did a wonderful job burying the news,” said a source told the outlet “A CFO quitting less than a week before earnings is unheard of.”
When approached for comment by NME, Sphere pointed towards a press release concerning their financial status.
In a comment for this press release, Executive Chairman and CEO James L. Dolan said: “Sphere’s opening in Las Vegas in September represented a significant milestone, generating worldwide attention and marking the beginning of a new chapter for our Company. We are building positive momentum across Sphere and remain confident that we are well positioned to drive long-term value for shareholders.”
Despite the venue’s financial loss, their is an opportunity for it to increase its earnings following the announcement of U2’s residency extension, which sees the band perform their 1991 album ‘Achtung Baby’ in full, into 2024.
It will also host a multiday takeover of the Las Vegas Grand Prix next week.
A similar venue had been planned to open in Stratford, east London but progress was temporarily halted by Michael Gove earlier this year following opposition from locals and AEG, which operates The O2, located just four miles away from where the arena had been proposed to be built.