London generated a nearly £37m for its economy by hosting the first ever regular season Major League Baseball game in Europe.
According to a YouGov Sport event impact study, the Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 resulted in a boost of nearly £47m to the UK’s economy as a whole.
The study, taken after the two games played between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees on 29 and 30 June at the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, highlights the impact the event had on the local, regional and national economies. The survey was completed by more than 2,000 fans over the two game days.
The study found that:
- 120,000 people attended to the two-game series with many more taking part in pre-game activations and events held across the capital
- Of those, 15 per cent travelled from the United States and 10 per cent from other countries around the world. 65 per cent of visitors travelled from somewhere in the UK outside London
- Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 contributed a total economic benefit of nearly £37 million to the London economy and £9.5 million to the rest of the UK – this includes spending on accommodation, food and drink, travel and retail
- The average event satisfaction score among attendees was 8.77 (out of 10)
- 59 per cent of attendees thought Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 was better than other sporting events they have been to in the past
- 79 per cent of visitors said they would now recommend people to visit London
- 87 per cent of residents said the event made a positive contribution to the image, appearance and reputation of London
- 22 per cent of visitors travelled to other parts of the UK during their trip to Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 (15 per cent England; four per cent Scotland; two per cent Wales; one per cent Northern Ireland) primarily sightseeing, shopping and visiting restaurants
In addition to the economic impact, Mitel & MLB Present London Series conducted a community programme which included free sports coaching in schools around London benefiting more than 2,000 children.
The figures follow a report from UK Sport centred on the 2017 World Athletics Championships held at London Stadium which showed that event brought in over £100 million to the wider economy.
The 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, said: “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 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.”
Laura Citron, chief executive at London & Partners, added: “We know that events are a major part of attracting domestic and international visitors to the city, and hosting the Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 was a big highlight for us last year. Sporting events provide a great opportunity to showcase London and it’s fantastic that so many attendees would recommend a visit to the city! We look forward to welcoming Major League Baseball London Series again next year.”