U2 is adding eight shows to its initial run at James Dolan’s new futuristic Las Vegas Sphere Arena – even as fresh cost overruns threaten to deepen the mega-buck construction project’s financial hole, the Post has learned.
The legendary rock band was recently scheduled for 17 shows as the opening act at the $2.3 billion, globe-shaped arena that revolves around Las Vegas and is set to open in September.
As reported by The Post, billionaire Knicks owner Dolan has quietly agreed to pay the already famous rock group $10 million to produce the spectacular show.
The Sphere ran an ad promoting U2’s debut during the Super Bowl.
In addition to the 25 U2 gigs, sources told The Post this week that there are still no additional acts scheduled, although Dolan is now in talks with Madison Square Garden favorite jam band Phish and is close to a deal.
This Summer Fish is showing for seven nights, July 28 through August 5, at Madison Square Garden.
A source said Phish is known for hosting festivals, and appears to be more open than other bands to designing a show that fits with its 17,500-seat arena and its 160,000 square feet of LED screens.
According to sources, Dolan is also in talks with Coldplay about a possible series of shows.
Dolan later struggles to fill the void in Sphere’s calendar. Revealed in Wednesday morning’s earnings report that the construction cost of the still-unfinished site – which was initially $1.2 billion and increased to $2.175 billion – is now expected to total “around” $2.3 billion.
Shares of Sphere Entertainment — a new, publicly traded spinoff from Madison Square Garden, which owns the Las Vegas project — fell nearly 18% to $24.51 on Thursday following the announcement.
Morgan Stanley predicted in an April 4 analyst report that Sphere Entertainment would trade at $37.20 following the spin-off.
Sphere’s growing production tab primarily reflects the overall complexity of the project, Dolan’s Sphere Entertainment Corp. said on Wednesday.
“The only thing that matters in their earnings is the increase in costs,” said an analyst on condition of anonymity. “No one knows when this will end.”
Dolan also hasn’t shared a detailed operational plan for monetizing Sphere. The sources said the arena does not have a naming sponsor, for example. A source said that potential sponsors are waiting to see the concert lineup, which is running behind schedule.
The Knicks and Rangers owner has tied up his personal fortune in his new arena, which has become his passion project, sources said.
Dolan split the Madison Square Garden Sports in two on April 20. They completed the rest of their live entertainment business, including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and The Beacon Theater, and then renamed parent company Sphere Entertainment, which includes The Sphere and MSG Sports Cable Networks.
He holds his stake in the teams through the listed company Madison Square Garden Sports.