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The O2 has had another record year



The O2 has had another record year, reporting over two million tickets sold and seeing huge development around the venue.

It was another busy year for content; 209 performances of music, comedy, sport and entertainment, with sell-out spectaculars from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Pearl Jam and UFC, Country to Country’s sixth year and 10 years of the Nitto ATP Finals. In indigo at The O2, Ed Sheeran performed as part of War Child BRITs Week and Charlie Brooker’s Inside Black Mirror was a much-coveted ticket.

The O2 commemorated shows throughout the year. Michael McIntyre was awarded for his record breaking ticket sales, the most of any act in The O2’s history. The comedian first performed in 2009 and nine years later, marked his 28th headline performance, having sold over 409,238 tickets. The record was previously held by Take That.

When global pop sensations BTS revealed their only UK dates of 2018, it was the most popular announcement the venue has ever had. Their phenomenal impact led to two sold-out performances and record merchandise sales at the venue, taking an accolade held by The Rolling Stones since 2012.

John Langford, VP & General Manager of The O2 commented, “We’ve seen a huge amount of activity at The O2 this year, with the opening of ICON Outlet, Oxygen Freejumping and not to mention the record breaking content that’s kept over two million entertained. I’d like to thank each and every person at The O2 and I’m confident that Steve Sayer will oversee another incredible year, when he takes over as VP & General Manager in 2019.”

The first phase of ICON Outlet at The O2, the 210,000 sq. ft. development by AEG and Crosstree Real Estate Partners, opened in October. It brings a premium shopping experience to the venue for the very first time and marks the first urban outlet for central London. Completing the loop of The O2, visitors can now walk around the entire venue.

When the second phase opens next year, ICON Outlet will consist of further stores, restaurants, cafés, and bars. Development in 2018 has also seen the opening of an Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park and the announcement of MAMMA MIA! The Party, an immersive theatrical dining experience, which will take residency in a specially-adapted venue within The O2 next spring.

FIFA chose The O2 to host 2018’s eWorld Cup Final, which was streamed live to nearly 30 million viewers and broadcast on Sky Sports, as well as ticketed to the public. It was the first major eSports event to be held in the arena. The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals also attracted record audiences, with nearly 244,000 attending across eight days.

ATP also worked closely with The O2 to reduce the tournament’s environmental impact, which was a wider focus for the venue this year. The O2 worked with Stack-Cup to provide reusable cups for alcoholic drinks at the tournament; removing around 30,000 single-use plastic cups from the waste stream and providing valuable learnings for events next year. The O2 currently commits less than 1% of its 3,500 tonnes of waste per annum to landfill and in 2018 built a bespoke, on-site waste compound to house the latest recycling and waste technology, plus a wormery to compost food waste and generate fertiliser.

Naming rights partner O2 continued to invest in facilities for O2 customers, launching their refurbished O2 Blueroom in September to coincide with the first O2 Live event. Sky also redesigned their spaces, Sky Backstage and Sky Studios, while in the arena, Nescafé delivered a world-first with their Nescafé Azera coffee bar.

Up at The O2 was graced by more famous faces, including George Ezra, Kevin Hart, Sandi Toksvig and Sheridan Smith. Climbers were kept fit with a HIIT class on the roof from The Body Coach and summertime yoga sessions were a huge success. MBNA Thames Clippers welcomed their 40 millionth passenger in 2018 and improved the commuter experience year-round with their Love Your Commute activations. They also announced the name of their 18th boat – Venus – the newest and largest vessel in the fleet with a capacity of 222.

The O2 rounded off the year by confirming the three charity partners, Nordoff Robbins, The BRIT School and MQ, would be fixed until 2020.

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