GLL to continue operating Copper Box Arena

Featured image credit: LLDC

Charitable social enterprise GLL has retained the operating contract for the Copper Box Arena, with London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) stating that the decision aims to ensure the venue continues to build on the legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Copper Box Arena is situated at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which LLDC operates, and is its most versatile venue, with a maximum seating capacity of 7,500 and the ability to stage elite sports, esports, as well as other live cultural and entertainment events. 

The Arena is home to British Basketball League and Netball Superleague teams the London Lions and London Pulse, and was developed for the London 2012 Games, when it staged handball and modern pentathlon events, as well as goalball.

The LLDC is leasing the Arena under a new operating arrangement that aims to build on the venue’s first successful decade. The Corporation originally announced the launch of a tender process for an operator back in December 2022.

The LLDC operates Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park through a variety of service contracts that have been let from the Park’s inception; some prior to London 2012 and others as the Park has evolved into its current form post-Games. The Copper Box Arena is currently operated by GLL and its new contract will run for 10 years from March 1, 2024, with an option to extend for a further five years.

Edward Fane, head of venues at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: “The Copper Box Arena is established as a thriving venue for national and international events as well as community sport, health and fitness. We are excited to continue working with GLL to build on the success of the last 10 years and bring in more high-profile events.

“This exciting high value contract is critically important to the long-term legacy of the London 2012 Games. Now working alongside the new cultural district at East Bank the Copper Box Arena links the sporting legacy of 2012 with cultural and community events too and this is something we are keen to see flourish.”

The Arena also houses an 80-station gym and the new contract announcement coincides with confirmation of a £600,000 (€703,000/$762,000) investment into the site’s gym and fitness class spaces – in response to increased demand from a growing local population.

GLL’s CEO, Peter Bundey, said: “We are delighted to have retained the contract for the Copper Box Arena, safeguarding the venue’s Olympic Legacy for years to come. It is an extraordinary facility that brings thousands of people together to enjoy sports and community activities and is an integral part of the regeneration of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“We have strong relationships with the world class organisations, clubs and event promoters who call the venue home – so this extension of our partnership with LLDC ensures continuity, sustainability and further benefits for community users, spectators and sport.”