Chief Executive Officer | MSG Ventures
There’s a bit of the Wizard of Oz in MSG Ventures’ CEO David Dibble. For starters, they share an obscure Kansas farmboy origin story. But, beyond that superficiality, they both lead an empire of the imagination.
Dibble, who boasts a long career on the hot edge of technological innovation, was in the room when MSG’s honcho James Dolan pitched a simple idea: “Let’s reinvent live entertainment.”
No sweat. The ultimate result is the $2.3 billion Sphere at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, an immersive, multisensory monument to invention that is beyond easy parallels. Is it one of the world’s most technologically advanced cinemas? Yes. Is it the most perfectly realized concerts space ever devised? Perhaps. Is it an architecturally striking wonder that is the world’s largest spherical building? Without a doubt.
It’s also much more than all that.It was challenging every step of the way — in addition to building and perfecting a structure unlike any other, a global pandemic and supply-chain catastrophe interrupted progress — and there was no playbook.
Dibble — and the team that surrounded him — wrote the playbook, solving issues including seemingly impossible acoustics, LED screens with no perceptible lines or seams showing, and more.
Time and again, the challenges need solutions and Dibble and his crew found them — or found the people with them. By the time it opens, Sphere could be responsible for more than 100 patents.
If Dolan is the visionary with the power (and money) to conjure a whole new Something out of nothing, then Dibble is the techno-whiz with unparalleled leadership and inspirational skills.
Dolan the Sorcerer, but Dibble the Wizard. Sort of like how the space program resulted in all sorts of new advances applicable to everyday life, or how Disneyland created new methods of storytelling applicable to Walt’s movies, Sphere has a knock-on effect for the guest experiences at other MSG venues; after all, Dibble isn’t just the Sphere czar, he’s responsible for the entire collection of MSG properties. Maybe Radio City Music Hall can’t be fitted with every piece of audio/video magic as Sphere, but some of it will follow on and certainly there’s knowledge to be shared.
But of course the crowning achievement, the manifestation of all of it, is Sphere, and Dibble is one of the geniuses behind the curtain. — JR Lind