Sphere Losses Grow as Venue Prepares Full Calendar for 2024

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In its first full quarter of operation, Sphere, the next-generation music venue in Las Vegas, lost $193.9 million on revenue of $167.8 million, its owner, Sphere Entertainment Co., announced Monday (Feb. 5). The company posted an adjusted operating gain of $14.1 million if “certain corporate overhead expenses” were excluded. 

In the quarter ended Dec. 31, nearly half of Sphere’s revenue — $92.9 million — came from The Sphere Experience’s 191 performances. (The Sphere Experience includes a tour of the venue and a viewing of the film Postcard From Earth.) Concerts accounted for nearly all of the $55.2 million of event-related revenues. Advertising on the outside of the venue and suite license fees totaled $17.5 million. 

After U2’s residency ends on Mar. 2, the venue will host runs by Phish and Dead & Company. Executive chairman/CEO Jim Dolan didn’t announce any new residencies but said during Monday’s earnings call that “pretty much our calendar is full for this calendar year.” Demand from artists continues to grow, Dolan added, and the company expects 2025 to be “another full year.”

Including MSG Networks, Sphere Entertainment had $314.2 million of revenue and an operating loss of $159.7 million. MSG Networks had revenue of $146.4 million, a 12.5% decline from the prior-year period. 

Sphere opened on Sept. 29 and posted $4.1 million from two U2 concerts, and $7.8 million in total revenue, in the previous quarter. The venue has received rave reviews and worldwide attention for its captivating audio-visual experience and presence on the Las Vegas skyline. It featured prominently in Las Vegas’s Formula 1 race in November and will grab more attention this weekend as Las Vegas hosts Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday (Feb 11). 

Although Sphere ended its bid to expand into London, the company is having “substantive discussions about expanding to international markets,” said Dolan. The plan is to have a franchise model for additional venues that will generate revenues immediately through construction and development, Dolan added. 

Shares of Sphere Entertainment rose as much as 10.4% to $39.11 on Monday and closed at $38.97, up 10.1%.

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