Las Vegas Sphere announces $100 million loss in first quarter as CFO quits

The Las Vegas Sphere might have been one of the strip's most anticipated new arrivals. but the venue has reported a shocking loss in its first quarter.
The Sphere was first announced back in 2018, marketed as a 18,600-seat venue with immersive video and audio, including a 16K wraparound LED screen.

Work began on the Sphere in 2019 with it initially being planned to open in 2021, however, it was held back due to breaks in construction and supply chain issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it finally opened on September 29, 2023, with U2 performing a 36-show residency.

And while there was much hype around the venue - and some concern from local hotel-stayers that the face projected on the outside appeared to be looking right at them in their rooms - it appears the venue's made a pretty huge loss so far.

According to reports from the New York Post, the company behind the multi-billion dollar venue reported revenues of $118 million, which is down 71% from a year ago.

Revenue included $4.1 million made from U2's sold out residency shows, as well as $2.6 million from suite licensing and advertising on the exosphere.

The chief financial officer of Sphere Entertainment Co, Guatam Ranji, has also reportedly quit his role, which the company reported in a securities filing on Friday.

According to the filing, Ranji's choice to leave 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."

Reports also claim that the company allegedly reported an operating loss of $98.4 million for the fiscal quarter ending on September 30.
James Dolan, the executive chairman and chief executive officer of Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, and executive chairman of MSG Networks, previously said of the Sphere that the $2.3 billion venture "represented a significant milestone, generating worldwide attention and marking the beginning of a new chapter for our company".

The outside of the sphere has particularly been gaining vast amounts of attention thanks to its brightly-lit and eye-catching exosphere, which is also used to promote brand campaigns, including YouTube’s NFL Sunday Ticket.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix will also have a multi-day takeover of the Sphere, beaming its branding to thousands in the local area.

While the losses seem large on paper, the venue is very much in its infancy and is likely to recoup some revenue over time given how popular it has already been.

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