Sphere Entertainment Co. shares rose 11.1% to $41.99 on Monday (Oct. 2) — and reached a high of $43.59, up 17.3% from Friday’s closing price — after the world got its first glimpses of the revolutionary concert venue over the weekend.
The $2.3 billion venue opened on Friday (Sept. 29) with the first of 25 dates of U2’s residency, which concludes Dec. 16. In its recap, Billboard called Sphere a “mind-blowing space” with “hard-to-fathom floor-to-ceiling graphics” and immersive audio that “made it feel like you were in a recording studio with U2.”
Investors’ interest increased Sphere’s market capitalization by $143.2 million to $1.43 billion. Trading volume of 3 million was nearly six times greater than the average daily volume of 538,000 shares.
Sphere Entertainment Co., formerly Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE), was formed on April 20 when MSGE’s traditional live entertainment business, which includes the Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall venues in New York, split off from the Sphere and MSG Networks businesses. Sphere retained a 33% stake in MSGE.
While U2 ultimately got top billing, Sphere proved the venue is a major attraction unto itself. First-hand accounts raved about both U2’s performance and the venue across social media, online news and broadcast television. Sphere CEO Jim Dolan spoke to his hometown crowd via an interview with Fox 5 New York. U2’s Bono and The Edge did an interview with CBS Mornings and another with the United Kingdom’s Channel 4.
Sphere’s presence above the Las Vegas skyline provides valuable promotion. Since the venue turned on its external lights — aka the Exosphere — on July 4 and began broadcasting jaw-dropping graphics, Sphere Entertainment Co.’s share price has climbed 49.4%.
Sphere will get more high-value promotion this month when Las Vegas hosts a Formula 1 race for the first time since 1982. City streets, including a stretch of Las Vegas Blvd. — i.e. the famous Las Vegas strip —will be converted into a race track and closed to traffic. The race course passes directly by Sphere, meaning millions of Americans — and more viewers worldwide — will see the venue as the drivers complete 50 laps of the 3.9-mile course. And because the race starts at 10:00 p.m. local time, the 588,000-square foot LED exterior covered in 1.2 million LED pucks — each with 48 individual LED diodes — will be impossible to miss.