As construction work resumes on Las Vegas’ MSG Sphere entertainment venue after coronavirus-related stoppages, the job site faces a new dilemma: unpaid construction work claims worth over three million dollars.
Subcontractors hired to work on the $1.66 billion, 17,500-seat spherical performance venue under construction near the Las Vegas strip are still owed at least $3.3 million in mechanics lien claims against the general contractor and fellow subcontractors since April of 2020. A mechanics lien is used to help force payment by placing a claim on the property that prevents its sale or refinancing until it has been removed.
New York’s Madison Square Garden Co. owns the newly developed property, which also owns the famed Madison Square Garden, a multi-purpose indoor arena in NYC. According to the lien affidavits filed with the Clark County clerk’s office, Sands Arena Landlord, LLC is also listed as a property owner, which is based in Carson City, NV.
Construction of the MSG Sphere is now scheduled to be completed by 2023 opposed to originally opening in 20121. Work has resumed at the project as of August of 2020.
The general contractor behind the MSG Sphere project is Los-Angeles-based AECOM.
$3.37M in Liens, One Bonded Off
The three contractors are owed a total of $3.37 million for work taking place at MSG Sphere, located at 255 Sands Ave, Las Vegas, NV.
The largest lien, a $2.66 million claim filed by subcontractor Harris Rebar Las Vegas, Inc., was processed on June 5, 2020 against hiring party MJ Dean Construction. However, on June 26, 2020, AECOM secured a lien release bond to bond off the lien, effectively removing the claim from the property. When a mechanics lien is bonded off, a surety bond substitutes the underlying property in a mechanics lien claim. Instead of a mechanics lien claim against the MSG Sphere property, the subcontractor now holds a bond claim against the surety’s bond.
According to the lien affidavits, Electrical subcontractor Parsons Electric, LLC filed another lien against AECOM for $555k on July 7, 2020. According to Parson Electric’s lien affidavit, the subcontractor’s original contract with AECOM was valued at $831,530.
Previously, Commercial Scaffolding of NV, Inc. had filed a lien claim worth $119,270.28 on April 10, 2020, naming subcontractor MJ Dean Construction as the hiring party.
Construction Resumes at MSG Sphere Following COVID-19 Work Stoppage
As of August 2020, construction has reportedly resumed at the MSG Sphere job site following restrictions due to COVID-19.
Prior to work stoppages resulting from coronavirus concerns, the MSG Sphere was paced to open in 2021. The spherical entertainment complex includes the world’s largest highest-resolution LED screen at over 160,000 square feet of the display surface. Standing 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide, the MSG Sphere will also house concerts, residencies, and corporate events, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In a statement published by the Las Vegas Sun on August 14th, the president of MSG Entertainment, Andy Lustgarten, spoke on the projects new scheduled opening for 2023:
“We remain committed to bringing this state-of-the-art venue to Las Vegas, but given the impact of the pandemic on our company, we are going to proceed at a more measured pace.”