LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — James Dolan is a controversial driving force in sports, politics and entertainment in New York. Now, he is also the man reshaping the Las Vegas skyline with the Sphere, which is set to open later this week.
In New York, Dolan is known as the CEO of Madison Square Garden and owner of the New York Knicks, Rangers, and a cable sports network. Dolan’s time leading these high-profile businesses is equaled by his time at the center of high-profile disputes.
Critics of Dolan point to his meddling with the Knicks and kicking people out of his arena who disagree with him, including legendary Charles Oakley.
They also point to his recent battle with New York officials over proposed changes to Penn Station, which sits below Madison Square Garden, and his long-standing tax breaks from the city.
Now, Dolan is putting his company’s might behind the Sphere. The $1.3 billion cost to build the Sphere mushroomed to $2.3 billion due to pandemic delays and the rising cost of building materials.
To find cash, Dolan sold off some parts of MSG, including his stake in the Tao Group, the owner of several high-end nightclubs on the Las Vegas Strip.
Dolan plans to build more Spheres around the world and Las Vegas is MSG’s first step into a new kind of entertainment.