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Local economy boosted by London Stadium MLB games

The recent Major League Baseball (MLB) series at London Stadium provided a boost worth nearly £37m (€43.3m/$48.1m) to the London economy, it has been announced.

London Stadium hosted two MLB games between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox on June 29-30 this year, with a total of 120,000 fans in attendance across the two days.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has now revealed details of the economic impact of the series, which benefited the rest of the UK by £9.5m, according to a YouGov Sport event impact study. The economic impact figures include spending on accommodation, food and drink, travel and retail.

Of the 2,000 visitors surveyed by YouGov Sport, 79 per cent said they would recommend London as a tourist destination, with 86 per cent saying they “thought highly” of London Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Fifteen per cent of the fans who attended the games were from the US, with 10 per cent from other countries around the world. Some 65 per cent of attendees travelled from somewhere in the UK outside of London.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The arrival of Major League Baseball to London this summer was a huge success and this report underlines the tremendous economic impact it had on the capital. The London Series attracted huge crowds and London Stadium provided the ideal venue for the action. I’m sure both Londoners and visitors alike are looking forward to MLB returning to our city next year.”

Lyn Garner, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, added: “London Stadium’s flexibility comes in to its own for events like this and its versatility means we can attract events such as the World Athletics Championships and MLB which bring thousands of visitors – many travelling from around the world – and millions of pounds in to the economy.

“In little over one month the venue changed from a 60,000-seat Premier League football stadium, into a concert arena for 72,000 Muse fans and then into a purpose-built ‘field of dreams’ for MLB.

“As this report highlights, the impact of these events on the local, London and national economies is absolutely huge as well as delivering additional community benefits like sports coaching for school children. London Stadium continues to deliver on the legacy from the London 2012 Games.”

London Stadium was built for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the city and now primarily serves as the home of Premier League football club West Ham United. The stadium also hosted the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2017, with that event bringing in over £100m to the wider economy.

Image: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park