About the Awards

TheStadiumBusiness Awards recognises leadership, innovation & achievement in the delivery, operation and management of sports facilities globally.

Inaugurated in 2010, the Awards are the first (and only) awards for the industry, by the industry and are presented each year during TheStadiumBusiness Summit.

Ths Awards were launched in order to:

The 2018 Awards ceremony will take place at Emirates Old Trafford, on 12 June in Manchester, UK.

TheStadiumBusiness is delighted to announce final shortlists for 2018.

TheStadiumBusiness Awards are delighted to reveal the final shortlists for 2018.

We were inundated with submissions this year, seeing nominations flood in from around the world. We would like to sincerely congratulate all of our finalists for making the shortlists – we will be in touch shortly to advise the next steps of your nomination.

Proudly presenting our 2018 Shortlists:


For the world’s best stadium, arena or sports venue. From the small local club venue to the mega-capacity national sports stadium, tell us which venue deserves recognition for its outstanding performance over the past 12 months, and why. Entries should refer to specific successes and achievements of the venue in the past year.

  • • Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, USA
  • • Optus Stadium, Perth, Australia
  • • CenturyLink Field, Seattle, USA
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
  • • AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia
  • • Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, USA

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


For the sports venue leader, pioneer or visionary that has over-delivered in the past 12 months.

  • • Al Guido, President, San Francisco 49ers, USA
  • Javier Martinez, Board Advisor for Sports & Entertainment (formerly Managing Director for Business, Club Atlético de Madrid), Spain
  • • Jacques Grobbelaar, CEO, Stadium Management South Africa, South Africa
  • • Lee Zeidman, President, Staples Center, Microsoft Theater & L.A. LIVE, USA
  • • Tery Howard, VP of Information Technology, Miami Dolphins & Hard Rock Stadium, USA
  • • Dick Patrick, Vice Chairman, Monumental Sports & Entertainment/President, Washington Capitals, USA

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


For the best sports or non-sports event, guest event, concert or one-off spectacle held at a major sports venue in the last 12 months. We are looking for something out of the ordinary, something special, something that sets a future trend. The award recognises the event’s host venue, and thus entries should reference why the venue’s management/operational team deserves sepcial recognition for their delivery.

  • • First Day-Night Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval, Australia
  • • Wrestlemania at Camping World Stadium, City of Orlando Venues, USA
  • • #Game4Grenfell at Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers, UK
  • • NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston Stadium, UK
  • • “Battle of Brisbane” – WBO Title Fight, Suncorp Stadium, Australia
  • • Arsenal FC in Sydney Tour, ANZ Stadium/VenuesLive, Australia

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


For an individual (or team) that delivers consistently outstanding service to a particular stadium, arena or major sports venue… without recognition! Awarded to the quiet achiever(s), the rising stars, the ever-reliable ‘behind-the-scenes’ fixer(s) and the person(s) that ‘just gets on with the job’.

  • • Patrice Lafarge, Stadium Operations and Maintenance, Paris Saint-Germain FC, France
  • • Human Resource Team, Everton FC, UK
  • • Benjamin Steen, Head of Digital Projects, FC Bayern-Munich, Germany
  • • Rafael Mangabeira, Marketing Leader, Arena Corinthians, Brazil
  • • Sarah Smith, John Motton & Facilities Management Team at Wembley Stadium & St George’s Park, The FA, UK
  • • Thomas Franke, Head of Infrastructure & Organisation, VfL Wolfsburg, Germany

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


For the stadium, arena or major sports venue that has delivered consistently outstanding levels of service and fan experience at every stage of the customer journey.

  • • Looking After The Fans at Ashes Test, Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia
  • • The Junior Tigers Club and the JTC Takeover Day, Leicester Tigers, UK
  • • ‘Fans First’ design at Optus Stadium, Australia
  • • The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s kids park at SunTrust Park/Atlanta Braves, USA
  • • Daily’s Place at EverBank Field, Jacksonville Jaguars, USA

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


Awarded for a product or service that has uniquely transformed and improved the way stadiums, arenas and sports venues do business.

  • • “ASB G9” Stadium Golf at Eden Park (Eden Park), New Zealand
  • • The Tunnel Club at Etihad Stadium (Manchester City FC), UK
  • • CherryBot AI Chatbot at AFC Bournemouth (Greenwood​ ​Campbell,​ ​Microsoft​ & Bournemouth​ ​• University), UK
  • • Virtual Hybrid LED digiBOARD (ADI.tv, Supponor), UK
  • • The District Detroit Mobile App (Olympia Entertainment, XFINITY), USA
  • • Wi-Fi Deployment Innovations at Notre Dame Stadium (AmpThink), USA

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


To recognise achievement, success or leadership in the pursuit of sustainable and community-driven venue and event management.

  • • Rush2Recycle at Super Bowl LII, U.S. Bank Stadium/Minnesota Vikings, USA
  • • Reds Going Green at Anfield, Liverpool FC, UK
  • • Sustainability Programmes at CenturyLink Field/Seattle Seahawks, USA
  • • #ThisIsOurIce Campaign, NHL Minnesota Wild/Xcel Energy Center, USA
  • • Our Neighbourhood Initiative, Eden Park, New Zealand
  • • Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena, USA

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


Recognising the sponsorship, sales or marketing initiative which has delivered new audiences, new revenues and new partnerships.

  • • Uber & AEG Global Partnerships Multi-Venue Deal, USA
  • • Predictive Seat Sales at Camp Nou, FC Barcelona, Spain
  • • ‘GAME Pods’ at Deepdale, Preston North End FC, UK
  • • Rebranding of “Ciutat de Valencia” Stadium, Levante UD, Spain
  • • Pitchside Bedroom at Audi Cup, Allianz Arena, Germany

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


For the stadium, arena or major sports venue that has delivered innovative technology to transform and improve the way it operates.

  • • Venue Operations Centre for Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust, Australia
  • • Location Based Services at SAP Arena, Germany
  • • Digital Ticketing & Fan CRM, Orlando City Soccer/Orlando Stadium, USA
  • • Aston Villa FC’s One Card, UK
  • • Jewel Skin Projection Mapping at Little Caesars Arena, USA
  • • The Inside Outside Multi-Use Design at U Arena, France
  • • Halo Board and Mega Column Video Board at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, USA

Winner decided by: Decision by Judging Panel


The Outstanding Achievement Award recognises an individual that has shown exceptional commitment, service and leadership to the stadium industry over a sustained period of time. (And no, they don’t have to be retiring any time soon!)

Winner to be announced during the TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2018 ceremony on 12 June

If you made the shortlists, we’ll be in touch!

Winners will be announced at Emirates Old Trafford on 12 June 2018

Got a question about the Awards? Get in touch with the Awards team on +44 (0) 1903 74 11 23 or awards@thestadiumbusiness.com

2018 Judging Panel

We are thrilled to announce stadium business leaders who will make up our international Judging Panel for the 2018 edition of TheStadiumBusiness Awards.

Months of deliberation has secured a superb lineup of the industry’s key figures, a fitting panel to consider, discuss and decide our 2018 Winners.

Proudly introducing our 2018 Judges

Robin Buchanan

Robin’s career within the stadia industry began in 1996 at St James’ Park with Newcastle United – one of the host venues of Euro 96 tournament. He was heavily involved in the development of the new stands at St James’ Park, which opened in 2000.

Robin joined Celtic FC as Stadium General Manager in 2002 and was responsible for the opening of the Lennoxtown training facility in 2007, a facility he continues to oversee. In his role, he formed part of the team who were successful for their bid to host the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 with the opening ceremony held at Celtic Park. Prior to the ceremony, Robin was responsible for the purchase and development of the public realm area, which included the creation of the ‘Celtic Way’.

In 2016, Celtic Park became the first stadium in the UK to have Rail Seating installed, a project Robin had worked on for almost 10 years. This year (2018) further development brought the installation of a full hostile vehicle mitigation system to improve fan safety at Celtic Park.

Umut Kutlu

Umut Kutlu is the Chief Marketing Officer of Besiktas JK, the oldest sports club of Turkey, with responsibility of generating commercial revenues by managing marketing and sponsorship organisation, premium seats sales, new stadium commercial operations, new business development operations and Club’s global evolution project. He joined the club in 2013, as the youngest executive and spearheaded club’s corporate and commercial transformation and new stadium’s construction operations. Besides he also teaches Sports Management classes at Istanbul Bilgi University. Prior to joining Besiktas JK, he worked in brand management, loyalty management, digital management, mobile commerce and mobile marketing, marketing communications and project management at several companies in telecommunications and media industries. He was perceived as one of the world’s top 7 mar&com leaders by Leaders Under 40 Awards at 2017.

Charlene Nyantekyi

Charlene Nyantekyi – General Manager Club Wembley joins the FA from a stint at Formula E where she lead the charge delivering the electric street racing series premium events across the globe. Charlene has joined the team as they navigate through a period of investment back into the Club Wembley facilities ensuring that propositions move forward in keeping with the ever evolving premium experience industry.

Prior to her position at Formula e, Charlene spent 4 years with AEG Europe as Hospitality Director providing strategic plans, proposals and fulfilment for their European Live tours ranging from Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys to Bon Jovi and The Who. Charlene was also integral for the concept and delivery of the Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park summer concerts which now in their 6th year and have become a staple of London’s summer festival calendar. Arsenal Football Club is where her story began, working her way into a full time position, eventually becoming a key member of the team taking the Arsenal Hospitality proposition from Highbury to Emirates Stadium over a 13 year tenure which concluded having reached the position of Premium Memberships Manager.

Roser Queralto

Roser Queraltó is Euroleague Basketball’s Chief Business Officer. She studied Hotel Management at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Master in Management at ESADE.

Ms. Queraltó joined Euroleague Basketball at its founding in 2000, and during 17 years in one of Europe’s most important sports institutions has gone from CEO Office Director to Institutional Relations Director to Chief Business Officer. She now manages three fundamental areas of the company.

In Business Development, she heads negotiations for games between NBA and EuroLeague teams and for TV contracts and games played in China, a new market for European basketball.

In Events, she leads all assessment, planning and execution for one of Europe’s most important sports events, the Final Four.

In Marketing, she supervises all matters related to Branding, Partnership and Ticketing.

Additionally, Ms. Queraltó serves on the Board of Directors of Euroleague Ventures, Euroleague Basketball’s groundbreaking joint venture with IMG.

Ron VanDeVeen

Ron VanDeVeen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife Stadium. Prior to being named President and CEO in April 2016, VanDeVeen held the title of Senior Vice President of Events and Guest Experiences, where he oversaw all aspects of event booking and marketing and was responsible for creating, developing, and managing customer service and security event staff to fulfill the guests’ experience.

VanDeVeen has spent the last two decades championing for and bringing the world’s largest events to the New Jersey/New York area. MetLife Stadium has hosted the world’s biggest events including Super Bowl XLVIII, WrestleMania 29, CONCACAF Gold Cup, international soccer, and major concerts by U2, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, AC/DC and Taylor Swift, amongst others. MetLife Stadium has ranked as the No. 1 Highest Grossing Stadium in the world for non-NFL events the last six years (2012-2017).

VanDeVeen spent 19 years at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) involved in all facets of the organization including Stadium Operations, Bookings, College Athletics and Corporate Sales. He was Vice President and General Manager for Giants Stadium and the IZOD Center before joining the New Meadowlands Stadium Company, LLC in March of 2009.

Kevin Warren

Kevin Warren is Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Vikings and in 2017 enters his 19th NFL season and 13th with the Vikings. Warren is the highest-ranking African-American executive working on the business side for a team in the NFL and the first African-American COO in NFL history. Warren earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Grand Canyon University, his MBA from Arizona State University, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Law. Warren places a priority on civic leadership, serves on several boards and has been recognized for his leadership in both business and charitable communities.

Ian Nuttall

Ian’s working life began in Sports Hospitality Events Management (including Formula One, horse racing and Wimbledon), before pursuing an award-winning career in B2B magazine publishing. He has co-launched and edited numerous business titles, ranging from energy and industrial processes through to airport design and Intelligent Transportation Systems. He has also founded many of the sports sector’s most respected publications and news sources. In addition to his ongoing commitments as a sports business writer and speaker, Ian provides highly-valued, specialist consultancy to the sports and entertainment sectors. Xperiology also owns and organises the industry’s much-respected Ticketing Business Forum and publishes TheStadiumBusiness.com and TheTicketingBusiness.com news channels.

Who’s in the running? See all the 2018 Finalists here





Here are the key dates for your diary for TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2018



Which categories can I nominate in?

We invite nomination submissions in all open categories. You may nominate in as many categories as you wish, and you may submit the same nomintaion across different categories.

During the shortlist process, The Awards committee may decide that your nomination is more fitting to a different category and you may be placed in that category.

When do nominations close?

Nominations for TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2018 will close at midnight on Friday 2nd February. The submissions considered will need to have taken place between Jan 2017 – Jan 2018.

Is there a fee to nominate?

It’s free to nominate, and only takes a few minutes via our simple online nomination form.

What information do I need to nominate?

You’ll need the following information:

  • Project / Venue
  • Owner / Project lead
  • One line description of your entry
  • 1,000 word (max) supporting statement

Supporting Evidence

Supporting evidence is strongly encouraged as this can greatly assist our Judging Panel and Awards team during their considerations. These may include

  • Details of all organisations to be credited
  • Testimonials from senior management
  • 2-5 High Res images
  • Videos (if applicable)
  • Stats, figures, graphs
  • Press and media links

Our Awards team will consider all submissions and carry out all the necessary research to qualify before creating our shortlist.

How are the winners decided?


The nominees for each category will be put forward to our international Judging Panel (TBA) who will reach a decision after looking at all the evidence provided.


Will you let me know if I’ve won before the night?

Despite many requests, we will never reveal winners before the night. You’ll just have to be there to find out.

Who were the winners last year?

You can download the full 2017 Winners Brochure here.

Who is on the Judging Panel?

We haven’t announced our 2018 Judging Panel yet, but this will comprise of some of the stadium industry’s most respected executives from around the world.

Contact the Awards team

See Awards Terms & Conditions

What are people saying?

I had a great time and more importantly I learned a great deal. The networking alone was worth the trip but when you add the ability to come back and improve your business…well then you have a real winner

Ron Velazquez Vice President, Ticket Operations, Cleveland Cavaliers

Probably the best place to be on the planet to discuss this exciting industry that we all work in

Paul Sergeant Director, PMY Group

Your conferences are well run, well thought out, and well executed. I’ve been to many, and really appreciate the way you handle yourself. Well done.

Bart Wiley Chief Operating Officer, Seattle Sounders

it is an honour and an amazing opportunity for us being part of such an excellent group of professionals from the industry!

András Katona Head of Marketing, Liberty Stadium

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, which isn’t a phrase normally associated with doing events, but it was really good and we have a lot of excellent contacts to follow up on.

Carolyn Baillie Head of Marketing, Exterity