Las Vegas, NV (April 28, 2022)—While this week saw convention-goers at the NAB Show in Las Vegas thrill to the audio advancements presented on the show floor, one of the most eye-popping things to see was located a mile away from the convention center: the ongoing construction of the $1.66 billion Madison Square Garden Sphere. When it’s completed next year, it will contain an arena with a sitting capacity of more than 17,000 people, and measure 364 ft high and 515 ft wide, making it the world’s largest man-made sphere.
W&W Steel has been supplying the iron beams used in its framework, and heavy lifting and engineered transport specialist Sarens has been lifting and placing all the pieces that will make the infrastructure possible. The company transported all the necessary equipment from its headquarters in Belgium to Las Vegas, which took 30 days by ship to California. Once there, the cranes were transported on a 12-axle SPMT (self-propelled modular transport) trailer to Las Vegas. This trip took 10 days and covered in total more than 5,890 miles.
Sarens is using two different crane models for this job: CC 8800/1 with an additional 295-ft boom and 275-ft Luffing Jib, and a CC 6800/1 model with a 275-ft boom and 236-ft Luffing Jib. This selection was made based on the ability of the cranes to lift extremely heavy structures and make turns, as it was planned to be able to lift and place the beams from two opposite points.
Once in Las Vegas, the lifting operation began. Both cranes are now in charge of lifting and placing the iron structures, already assembled on the ground, which make up the final dome. Because the cranes are positioned on both sides of the construction, it is possible to carry out continuous lifts, speeding up the construction work and increasing the precision of the placement.