The seemingly unceasing spate of hate incidents occurring at construction sites across North America is showing no signs of abating, as a noose was recently found hanging at the MSG Sphere construction site adjacent to the Venetian Las Vegas resort complex in Paradise, Nevada.
This is the second noose to be reportedly discovered at a major Las Vegas construction site in as many years; the first reported incident in Sin City was last June at the (similarly) delay-plagued $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas hotel-casino development site on the northern end of The Strip. Over the past year, nooses—referred to as “one of the most feared symbols in American racial history” by Lonnie Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in a 2017 op-ed—have been discovered at a slew of active construction sites including, but sadly not limited to, Toronto, Portland, Oregon; Durham, North Carolina, and at an Amazon job site in Windsor, Connecticut, where seven nooses were initially discovered this past April. Work at that site, a forthcoming fulfillment center, was temporarily halted only to resume a week later at which point an eighth noose was discovered. In reaction to all of these separate racists incidents, which Construction Dive tallied at north of 20 and growing, the respective project contractors and developers have all been quick to condemn the acts of hate and promised swift investigations carried out in cooperation with authorities, in some cases including the FBI.
Similar steps are being taken at the MSG Sphere site in response to that disturbing discovery, which a spokesperson with Madison Square Garden Entertainment Group referred to as “disgusting and vile” in a statement provided to the Las Vegas Sun.
“We are working with local authorities to identify who is responsible so that appropriate action can be taken,” the company said in its statement shared by the Sun. “We will reinforce our policy of zero tolerance for harassment of any kind — including racist and harmful actions such as this.”
It is unclear when exactly the noose at the MSG Sphere site was discovered on a beam within the site. It has also not been disclosed what specific authorities are leading an investigation into the incident and whether or not security footage captured the person or persons who carried out the act, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The 17,500-capacity music and entertainment venue, designed by Populous and set to feature the world’s largest LED screen, was first announced in early 2018 and broke ground later that year. It was initially set to open this year. Supply chain delays prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, have now pushed that opening back to 2023. Despite the delay, work on the bulbous mega-arena is continuing to make steady progress with an official topping-out ceremony in June to mark the completion of the structure’s gargantuan domed frame. Meanwhile, a sister sphere across the pond has drawn complaints from Londoners who don’t want an enormous, 360-degree billboard shining in their faces (and homes) 24/7.
As noted by Construction Dive, AECOM was the original contractor in Las Vegas until MSG, which is spearheading the $1.8 billion project alongside the late Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp., stepped in to fill that role late last year.