As Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Rich Claffey leads all venue operational matters for Sphere, Sphere Entertainment Co.’s next-generation entertainment medium that is redefining the future of live entertainment. In this role, Mr. Claffey partners closely with various teams across the Company involved in delivering Sphere, including development and construction, content, and technology, to ensure the venue provides a world-class experience for our guests, artists, and partners. The first Sphere venue opened in Las Vegas in September 2023.
Mr. Claffey’s career with the MSG family of companies spans over 40 years in roles of increasing responsibility. Prior to his current role at Sphere, Mr. Claffey served as Executive Vice President of Venue Management of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., where he oversaw operations across the Company’s portfolio of venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and the Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. Mr. Claffey has also previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Madison Square Garden, where he oversaw the planning and direction of building operations, event production, event operations, food and merchandise operations, construction, and ticketing operations for both The Garden and The Theater. His other roles at MSG have included serving as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Theatre Operations and Rockettes Operations, responsible for directing all facility operations for Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre and The Chicago Theatre, and managing day-to-day operations and administration for the Rockettes. He has also held a variety of positions at Radio City Music Hall, including Head Electrician of the stage crew; Head Carpenter; Technical Director of the Christmas Spectacular; Vice President of Production; and General Manager.
Mr. Claffey began his career with MSG in 1983 as part of the stage crew at The Garden. He also spent one year as a member of the crew on a Bruce Springsteen world tour.