It's a priceless national icon, but a new report has put a figure on what the Sydney Opera House means to Australia.
The tourist magnet is worth $4.6 billion – or about $200 per citizen – to the Australian public, according to Deloitte.
Ticket sales, iconic status, digital presence and the unique design were all quantified to come up with the value. “We all know in our bones how important it is,”, Sydney Opera House chief executive Louise Herron said.
“(But) here is the number – this is what we’re worth, don’t take us for granted.”
By putting a price tag on the venue, management can make a stronger case for government funding for upkeep, she said. “We have this 40-year-old thing which is magnificent, but absolutely needs to be renovated,” she said.
Commissioned ahead of the building’s 40th anniversary, the report also found the Opera House injects roughly $775 million into the national economy annually.
Jorn Utzon’s famed creation rates higher than the national identity on a marketing index of brand esteem, the report says.
“It’s slightly counterintuitive that Australia would have as it’s symbol a work of art, but we do,” Ms Herron said.
Looking ahead, the Opera House is hoping to grow its online presence and digital audience with blogs, live-streaming and social media.
But for now the focus is on birthday festivities, including an anniversary concert on October 20 attended by Danish royals Mary and Frederik.