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Hosting major sporting events has contributed more than £1.6 billion ($2.1 billion/€1.9 billion) to London’s economy since the city staged the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a new report published by London & Partners has revealed.

The figures in the study by the Mayor of London’s business and promotional organisation show last year’s Rugby World Cup generated £539 million ($715 million/€640 million) of the figure.

Cycling events, such as the Prudential RideLondon, the Tour of Britain and the International Cycling Union (UCI) Track Cycling World Championships, provided a cash injection of a further £149 million ($198 million/€177 million).

Concerts and various other cultural festivals and activities, including the Lumiere London, contributed around £560 million ($743 million/€665 million), the report showed, bringing the total economic revenue to the city to £2.2 billion ($2.9 billion/€2.6 billion) in the four years after London hosted the Olympics and Paralympics.

Spending by visitors watching events which have come to British capital since London 2012, such as the start of the Tour de France, and competitions usually held in the city - Wimbledon, the Tour of Britain, and the London Marathon - contributed towards the £2.2 billion figure.

Events which London invested in or in which the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were a contributing factor have generated £1 billion ($1.3 billion/€1.2 billion), according to the study.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup, won by New Zealand, generated the most income for London's economy of all the major events to be held in the city since the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics ©Getty Images
“Four years on, the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games can clearly be felt in London, especially for cycling – not only as a competitive sport but also as a leisure activity and a means of transport,” UCI President Brian Cookson said.

“For example, the Prudential RideLondon has become a true celebration of cycling at all levels. It is a very attractive race for both male and female professional riders but it’s also the perfect occasion for everyone to take to their bikes, no matter their age or level of fitness.

“The Lee Valley VeloPark is another example of the great legacy of London 2012, and I was very proud to come back to the velodrome as UCI President at the beginning of the year for the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

“I am convinced that the impact of the Games on London will be felt for decades.”

The 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in London was a key event for the citay ©Getty Images
London is also due to host a number of large sporting spectacles in the coming years, including the 2017 World Athletics and Para Athletics Championships and the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The semi-finals and final of the UEFA European Championship in 2020, the first event of its kind where matches will be held in various cities across the continent, are scheduled to take place in London at Wembley Stadium.

“These figures underline the enormous contribution major events make to the economy in London and the entire country,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

“The message is loud and clear: London is open to visitors from around the world, who come to enjoy the incredible range of events and attractions on offer in the capital.

“From major sporting events like the Rugby World Cup and next year’s World Athletics and Para Athletics Championships, to an incredible array of arts, history and entertainment, London’s sporting and cultural offer is one of the key reasons why this is the greatest city in the world.”

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