How do you measure the value of a living work of art?
At the Opera House’s 40th anniversary in 2013, Deloitte Access Economics assessed the social and economic value of the Sydney Opera House for the first time. Further valuations were undertaken at the midpoint of the Decade of Renewal in 2018 and again at its completion in 2023.
Each report tracks the steady growth of the Opera House’s value to NSW and the nation, aligned with a 10-year strategy to broaden its reach, programming and impact – on site and online – as well as $300 million of capital works to transform its major venues and open up more of the building to the community.
The final report, Valuing 50 years of Australia’s Icon, released for the Opera House’s 50th anniversary, calculated its social value has increased by 38% in real terms to $11.4 billion over the decade – almost four times the value of the land and building ($3 billion).
The Opera House contributed $1.2 billion to the state economy in FY23, including $824 million from tourism alone. Its digital value also continues to grow at a rapid pace, contributing more than $500 million to the social value, a 400% increase in real terms since 2013. There are wellbeing benefits too – 72% of people agreed that visiting the Opera House improved their overall personal wellbeing while 71% felt more connected with companions and the community.
It’s impossible to imagine Australia without the Opera House. As the most prominent human-made symbol of our national identity, it’s equal only to the koala and kangaroo in terms of its symbolic recognition. After five decades of storytelling and connection, it has never felt more relevant to the Australian experience.
Read the 2023, 2018 and 2013 reports below.