Mammoth crane aids in MSG Sphere erection work


The Sphere Las Vegas MSG Image: The Review Journal

The fourth largest crawler crane in the globe has arrived to begin work on the MSG Sphere at The Venetian in Las Vegas, US.

The MSG Sphere Las Vegas is a sphere-shaped music and entertainment arena being built in Paradise, Nevada, near the Las Vegas Strip in United States. The 17,500-seat auditorium is scheduled to open gates in 2021.

The MSG Sphere, a joint venture of The Madison Square Garden Company and Las Vegas Sands, is expected to reach 875,000 square feet once completed. The MSG Sphere will be the largest spherical structure in the globe.

To meet the unique needs of building the massive structure, the DEMAG CC-8800 crane has been brought in from Belgium to assist with construction.

The crane, the DEMAG CC-8800, can extend 580 feet high, 30 feet taller than the nearby High Roller observation wheel, and weighs 869 tons.

High Roller is a 550-foot tall (167.6 m), 520-foot (158.5 m) diameter giant Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip. Owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, it opened to the public on March 31, 2014, and is currently the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

The crane has been positioned on the northeast side of the construction site and has been mounted on 50-by-6½-foot tracks.

The crane is needed to carry and deliver heavy loads to all sides of the Sphere, including down into the venue.

The $1.66 billion MSG Sphere is a tour de force performance venue being built east of the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian.

The Venetian is a luxury hotel and casino resort located on the Las Vegas Strip at Paradise in US.

The crane arrived in Las Vegas from Zeebrugge, Belgium, after a trip across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Panama Canal to Port Hueneme, California. It then took 120 tractor-trailers to deliver the crane to Las Vegas, where a separate special crane was commissioned to assemble the CC-8800 in 18 days.

The crane traveled halfway around the world, more than 6,000 miles over land and sea, on its journey to Las Vegas.

The CC-8800 can rotate 360 degrees, which will allow it to reach the top of the 366-foot MSG Sphere and along the 516-foot width of the avant-garde performance venue.

The crane has the capacity to lift up to 1,760 tons. The heaviest lift on the project will be the center compression ring for the domed roof weighing 182 tons.

The fully assembled crane, which includes the body, boom and cables, weighs 869 tons, and 850 tons of counterweight has been appended to give stability.

The ground beneath the crane track is too soft to support its operation and will give way if it starts moving. To prevent the same and to facilitate the crane to move, a track designed of steel mats sitting atop a half-acre custom composite soil pad has been installed.

The crawler crane will execute steel erection including the venue’s steel domed roof and exosphere.

A class apart

The Madison Square Garden Company expects the MSG Sphere at The Venetian will be the most employed performance venue in its portfolio. The company is planning to pay particular attention to its attractions business, with multiple shows each day so that it is utility-at-its-best kind of scenario. MSG is expected to have corporate events because of its proximity to the Sands Expo and it also plans concert residencies. The pièce de résistance of the venue will be its huge video screens inside and out.

Inside, the display plane, the largest and highest resolution LED display plane on this planet — roughly the size of three football fields — will wrap up, over and behind the stage and audience.

Thousands of tiny speakers embedded in the structure’s walls will enable sound to be directed with laser-sharp precision with the help of a technique called ‘beamforming’.

Outside, the venue can offer multitude images, including a depiction of the Earth and a “see-through” mode that would make the building appear invisible.

MSG Sphere at The Venetian will be unlike any venue ever created, including its vision for reinventing entertainment — and how it’s constructed,” Nick Tomasino, Vice-President of Construction for The Madison Square Garden Company, said in a release sent out by the company.

“Even the scale of the equipment needed for construction is unique, and the DEMAG CC-8800 — towering nearly 600 feet in the air and visible from miles away — is a perfect example,” Tomasino asserted.

“This specialty crane allows us to execute the complexities that come with building the largest spherical structure in the world, safely performing lifts that require an incredible amount of expertise and precision,” he noted.

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