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O2 gives London £405 million cash boost

The O2 arena in London generates an additional income of £405 million a year for the capital, an independent study commissioned by the venue’s owner and operator AEG Europe has revealed. It also attracts up to 7.2 million visitors a year – which equates to more than the number of international tourists received by India or Australia per annum.

AEG commissioned consultancy Why Not to assess the social and economic impact of The O2 since its opening in June 2007. The study looked at The O2’s position as a visitor attraction, employer and catalyst for regeneration. The report found that the venue generated a total economic impact equivalent to more than double the original investment in the Millennium Dome, while providing a range of additional social, environmental and commercial benefits.

Alex Hill, senior executive director of AEG Europe, said: “Through a combination of state-of-the-art facilities, scale and quality of customer service, The O2 has been able to attract a series of fantastic new events to the UK. We host the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the world’s best attended indoor tennis event, and have just hosted the first ever NBA regular season games to be held in Europe. Together with world-class pop and rock acts from Beyonce to Led Zeppelin, and cultural institutions like Les Miserables and the Royal Ballet, The O2 continues to be a great draw for London.”

Since opening, The O2 has attracted 25 million visitors from across the UK and the world, and has helped to showcase the rich heritage and historical significance of south east London and in particular the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This study revealed that The O2 supports an additional 2,900 jobs in the London economy, of which an estimated 600 have been created in Greenwich.

The research estimates that since opening in 2007, The O2 has generated an additional income of £1.4 billion for London. Hill said: “Our investment in The O2 demonstrates an ongoing commitment to delivering tangible benefits for London, and this research clearly demonstrates those benefits.”

Meanwhile, Jay Marciano has been appointed president and CEO of AEG Europe. Marciano, who will take up his new role May, will report directly to AEG Europe’s board of directors. He joins AEG from his previous role as president of New York-based Madison Square Garden Entertainment. Marciano will oversee all activity in the European region incorporating AEG Facilities’ 20 music and entertainment venues located in nine European markets.

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