London’s O2 becomes world’s most popular venue after £63m revenue record

The venue sold more than two million tickets in 2012

London’s O2 Arena has become the most popular venue in the world, after announcing a record £63 million in revenue.

According to the Evening Standard, the venue sold two million tickets last year – thanks to a string of big-name gigs and hosting the 2012 Olympics gymnastics.

The venue in Greenwich is 15 per cent owned by the taxpayer after American sports marketing firm Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) took over what was the Millenium Dome in 2002 and turned it into an arena. AEG got the land for nothing in return for a 15 per cent share of the profits going back to the government for the next 25 years. That proportion of profits soared by 35 per cent this year to £15.5 million.

Over two million tickets were purchased for the venue last year, including sold-out gigs by The Rolling Stones and Beyoncé. Tickets for The Stones went on sale in September for between £106 and £406, including booking fees. Hospitality packages were also available for £1,140 including VAT.

The recorded revenues at the O2, for the year to the end of December 2012, are the highest since the site opened as a 23,000-seat arena in 2007. “The increase in revenue in the year is mainly due to the Olympic and Paralympic rental,” Finance director Sarah Brooks said. In addition, AEG reduced the cost of running the arena by £28,000 to £40.9 million, which helped boost profits.