Drivers of trains will feel blinded when they see the Abba Hologram Experience venue.


The MSG Sphere, proposed to be built in Stratford’s Olympic Park, is a massive globe covered in LED lights to be used for Abba’s comeback shows including holograms and live performances

The dazzling lights projected from the planned London venue for Abba’s comeback show have raised concerns about train drivers being blinded on their way into London.

The MSG Sphere, proposed to be built in Stratford’s Olympic Park, is a massive globe covered in LED lights and would be one of the largest venues in London.

Reports indicate that the dome is 96m high and 120m wide and could accommodate up to 21500 fans. It will be a brand-new entertainment and music venue in Newham. EssexLive.

Almost the whole surface of the Sphere would be covered in light panels showing visual displays and advertising – making it the largest and highest-resolution screen in the world.

The upcoming Abba shows are to have holograms, new music and live performances by the Swedish group’s singers Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

The owners of New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden (MSG) are behind the scheme – and they argue that the MGS Sphere would bring thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment.

Concerns have been expressed about the potential dangers that the megastructure might pose to commuters and train drivers who use the nearby rails.

Network Rail and MTR Elizabeth Line (Crossrail), objected to these plans, warning that train passengers passing by the venue might be dazzled at the light show.

The site is located next to the Stratford International and Stratford Stratford stations.

Network Rail however has since removed its objections to this scheme.

Stop MSG Sphere is a local campaign group that was formed to oppose the scheme. It also stated that the venue would cause noise and light pollution in the area.

The globe has also come under fire from some of London’s biggest venues, with the owners of the 02 Arena and West Ham’s London Stadium arguing that the planned site was too close to pre-existing venues.

Both the venues as well as the campaign group claimed that large crowds of thousands would draw people to the dome in an area already busy. This would increase congestion on local transport and cause disruption.

MSG however argued that huge investments and thousands of London-based living wage jobs would provide a tremendous boost to the community.

The group added that the dome’s brightness could be controlled and that they would not be permanently switched on.

MSG spokesmen said: “Throughout the planning process we have had extensive and constructive engagement with a range of stakeholders to ensure that MSG Sphere represents a compelling opportunity for Newham and East London.

“MSG Sphere would support thousands of good jobs and generate billions of pounds of economic benefit, and we remain excited about our plans to bring this state-of-the-art entertainment venue to London.”

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which is responsible for the MSG Sphere’s planning application, said that the threat of dazzled train drivers would have to be weighed up before a decision could be made.

A spokesperson for LLDC said that: “We are aware of the representations made on the application by NR and Crossrail with respect to both the impact on the operation of Stratford station and on the issue of the impact of lighting glare on train drivers.

“We continue to work with the relevant transport stakeholders, including TfL, as well as MSG as applicant to see if these potential impacts can be mitigated.”

However, AEG, which owns London’s 02 just south of the proposed site, said the plans should be refused.

A spokesperson for AEG stated: “AEG is calling on the LLDC to refuse MSG’s application for a new venue in Stratford and encourage the Mayor of London to formally oppose this project in order to protect Newham’s residents and existing businesses from this inappropriate development.

“We have always maintained that we do not oppose competition in the live entertainment sector, or another large music venue in London, but it should not be built so close to The London Stadium, Copper Box, Westfield and The O2.”

TfL has added a spokesperson: “Transport plays a vital role in supporting the success of our city and Stratford station is one of the key hubs for people travelling into and around London.

“We continue to work constructively with all the relevant parties involved in the proposals for the MSG Sphere, so that the potential transport issues that have been identified – such as event day congestion within Stratford station and the effects of any glare and distraction from the Sphere on train drivers – can be effectively mitigated.”