Major sporting and cultural events contributed £2.2 billion to London’s economy since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, demonstrating London is open and cementing the capital’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest sporting and cultural cities.
London hosts around 80 major events each year, which contribute at least £400 million to the city’s economy. According to a report published by London & Partners – the Mayor of London’s business and promotional organisation – sporting events contributed an estimated £1.6 billion since 2012.
The biggest event – last year’s Rugby World Cup – generated £539 million, while major cultural events, such as Lumiere London, and an array of concerts and festivals delivered a combined £560 million.
London will host a string of world-class events in the next few years including the IPC and IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2017, the Cricket World Cup in 2019 and the semi-finals and final of the UEFA EURO 2020 Championships.
Cycling events including the Prudential RideLondon, the Tour of Britain and the UCI Track Cycling World Championships have contributed £149 million since 2012. Prudential RideLondon, taking place this weekend, has contributed £53 million over its first three editions. The Mayor of London’s annual festival of cycling includes a FreeCycle on closed roads in central London, followed by one of the world’s biggest mass-participation sportives and a professional race – which this year features British rider and three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These figures underline the enormous contribution major events make to the economy in London and the entire country.
“The message is loud and clear: London is open to visitors from around the world, who come to enjoy the incredible range of events and attractions on offer in the capital.
“From major sporting events like the Rugby World Cup and next year’s World Athletics and ParaAthletics Championships, to an incredible array of arts, history and entertainment, London’s sporting and cultural offer is one of the key reasons why this is the greatest city in the world.”
The £2.2 billion figure includes spending by visitors watching events which have come to London since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, such as the Tour de France, Formula E and ITU World Series Triathlon, as well as long-standing events such as the Wimbledon Championships, Tour of Britain, London Marathon and large concerts and festivals.
President of the UCI, Brian Cookson OBE, said: “Four years on, the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games can clearly be felt in London, especially for cycling – not only as a competitive sport but also as a leisure activity and a means of transport. For example, the Prudential RideLondon has become a true celebration of cycling at all levels. It is a very attractive race for both male and female professional riders but it’s also the perfect occasion for everyone to take to their bikes, no matter their age or level of fitness.
“The Lee Valley VeloPark is another example of the great legacy of London 2012, and I was very proud to come back to the velodrome as UCI President at the beginning of the year for the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. I am convinced that the impact of the Games on London will be felt for decades.”
The report shows that around £1 billion has been generated from events since 2012, which London invested in hosting or in which the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were a contributing factor.
Head of Major Events at London & Partners, Iain Edmondson, said: “Since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games London has secured some of the best global sporting and cultural events. The city is recognised around the world as a fantastic destination for major events, which are a big draw for UK and international visitors and help boost London’s economy by billions of pounds.”
London was recognised as one of the best sporting cities in the world by winning Ultimate Sport City in 2012 and 2014, as well as well as Best Hosting City in the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.