Winners of the TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2016 were announced during a fantastic night of celebration at Santiago Bernabéu, home to Real Madrid C.F.

Now in their seventh year, TheStadiumBusiness Awards are the only awards to recognise a whole spectrum of achievements from across the global stadium industry.

The awards ceremony took place during TheStadiumBusiness Summit on the pitch of Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, in front of an audience of senior industry figures.

“Congratulations to everyone who reached the podium,” commented Ian Nuttall, founder of TheStadiumBusiness Awards. “Winners included our industry’s leaders, achievers and stand-out venues, who should all be very proud of their achievements.”

Hundreds of nominations were whittled down to create the shortlist, judged by an independent panel of industry figures including:

Thomas Perslund, former CEO, Friends Arena, Sweden (2015 Winner)
Roger Maslin, former Managing Director, Wembley, UK
Denise Barrett-Baxendale, CEO, Everton in the Community (Everton FC), UK (2015 Winner);
Tomasz Kowalski, President, Stadion Energa Gdansk, Poland
Susan Fink, Operations Director, Sports & Entertainment Eurest Mexico/Compass Group, Mexico
Chris Overholt, CEO, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canada
Peter Dallas, Managing Director, Hampden Park, UK.
Ian Nuttall, Founder of TheStadiumBusiness / Xperiology, UK

The Winners and Shortlisted Nominees in each category – along with comments from the Judging Panel – are as follows:

FAN EXPERIENCE AWARD –

Category Winner: Amsterdam Arena’s “Voetbalkijken 2.0”, Netherlands

Judging Panel comments: “An integrated, stadium-wide technology platform that has developed from test-bed and laboratory to real-world marketing and data insights engine.”

Shortlisted nominees:

“ENCORE LA” service excellence programme at Staples Center, USA
Amsterdam Arena’s “Voetbalkijken 2.0”, Netherlands (WINNER)
Matchday at the MCG, Australia
The National Rugby League’s “NRL Bunker”, Australia
“Best Delivery” campaign at Emirates Old Trafford (AO.com/LancsCCC)
“The Selig Experience” at Miller Park/Milwaukee Brewers, USA
Avaya Stadium’s Fan Engagement Wall (San Jose Earthquakes), USA
Gameday Roof Climb at Adelaide Oval, Australia

EVENT OF THE YEAR AWARD

Category Winner: Thomas Rhett Tangled Up Release Party at AT&T Stadium, USA

Judging Panel comments: “Drone racing was a strong contender but until the sport can safely host crowds, we went for something a little unusual: A stadium-scale album launch with the world’s largest game of Twister at AT&T Stadium. Once again, fun and creativity prove to be the key to filling stadiums.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Opening Ceremony of Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships at Katara Amphitheatre, Qatar
Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well Show at Soldier Field, USA
Thomas Rhett Tangled Up Release Party at AT&T Stadium, USA (WINNER)
Felix Manalo Movie Premiere at Philippine Arena, The Philippines
US National Drone Racing Competition at Bonney Field’s, USA
The Gathering computer party at Vikingskipet Olympic Arena, Norway
Insomnia Multiplay Gaming Festival at Ricoh Arena, UK
Miami Lights’ Drone Racing season opener at Sun Life Stadium, USA

INDUSTRY SUPPLIER AWARD

Category Winner: SAP

Shortlisted nominees:

SAP
Samsung
SGL (Stadium Grow Lighting)
Natural Grass
Worldpay

THE DAVID VICKERS AWARD – NEW VENUE OF THE YEAR

Category Winner: Sports Hub Trivandrum, India

Judging Panel comments: “A very strongly-contested category with international entries but this world-class sports facility is the first privately-funded stadium on the Indian subcontinent and a development model for more to come.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Parc Olympique Lyonnais, France
Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Mexico
Kyle Field at Texas A&M University, USA
Sports Hub Trivandrum, India (WINNER)
Matmut Atlantique, France
Suita City Football Stadium, Japan
Vodafone Arena, Turkey
T-Mobile Arena, USA

PREMIUM SEAT AWARD

Category Winner: CF Monterrey Rayados’ hospitality sellout at Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Mexico

Judging Panel comments: “Selling out the entire inventory of a new stadium in an emerging market – with 320+ suites and over 3,000 premium seats – is a huge achievement for the club and its partners. Proof again that well-designed, well-managed venue offers find their own market.”

Shortlisted nominees:
CF Monterrey Rayados’ hospitality sellout at Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Mexico (WINNER)
Optum Field Lounge at Gillette Stadium, USA
The Cheltenham Club at Cheltenham Racecourse, UK
Manchester City FC’s “Premium Seats” programme, UK
Audi Stadium Club at Adelaide Oval, Australia
DraftKings Fantasy Sports Bar & Grill at Staples Center, USA
’72 Club’ at Sun Life Stadium, USA
Dressing Room A at The O2, UK

PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARD

Category Winner: Cashless / Contactless Payment Infrastructure at Twickenham Stadium (RFU/Worldpay/Kappture), UK

Judging Panel comments: “A comprehensive POS makeover at one of Europe’s largest stadia which took the very best from the retail sector to enhance Twickenham’s matchday fan experience (with significant operational benefits) and provide the foundation for future innovation and technology deployments.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Mobile App for In-Seat Merchandise Delivery at Staples Center (Tap.in2), USA
Instant mobile sales at Levi’s Field (ReplyBuy), USA
Mobile Access Control at Charlton Athletic FC (Teamcard), UK
Cashless/Contactless Payment Infrastructure at Twickenham Stadium (RFU/Worldpay/Kappture), UK (WINNER)
Arenametrix CRM and yield management solution (Tech4Team), France
Vantage Workforce Management / Dynamic Labour Forecasting at Manchester City FC & Southampton FC (Verteda), UK

PROJECT OF THE YEAR AWARD

Category Winner: Redevelopment of Daytona International Speedway, USA

Judging Panel comments: “Following a two year, US$400 million reimagining of this American icon – Daytona International Speedway reopened to global celebration in January 2016. The project has set a new benchmark for motor racing fans, preparing a 57-year old venue for its next chapter of sports history.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Rebuild of Brunton Park after Storm Desmond (Carlisle United FC), UK
Renovation of Estadio Cuauhtémoc/CF Puebla, Mexico
Seating and F&B makeover at Sun Life Stadium, USA
Tranmere Rovers FC’s ”Project Turnaround”, UK
Daytona Rising – Completion of Daytona International Speedway redevelopment, USA (WINNER)
Redevelopment of Cheltenham Racecourse, UK
Technology Makeover at Allianz Stadium, Australia
Completion of Ageas Bowl redevelopment (Hampshire Cricket), UK

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Category Winner: Volunteer Workforce at Lužánky Stadium, Czech Republic

Judging Panel comments: “A true example of community, sport and action coming together to resurrect a dilapidated (but much-loved) stadium. An effort which garnered national media coverage and has become a benchmark for other community sports infrastructure initiatives.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Tranmere Rovers FC’s ”Project Turnaround”, UK
Croke Park’s Community Team initiative, Ireland
Broadhurst Park – the new home of fan-owned F.C. United of Manchester, UK
Arsenal FC’s LED lighting at Emirates Stadium, UK
Bloom Energy fuel cells at Staples Center, USA
Sydney Cricket Ground’s environmental achievements, Australia
Volunteer Workforce at Za Lužánkami Stadium, Czech Republic (WINNER)

UNSUNG HERO AWARD

Category Winner: Croke Park’s ‘Environmental & Sustainability Management Group’, Ireland

Judging Panel comments: “This is the second time that Croke Park’s “Avengers” have been recognised by TheStadiumBusiness Awards but the track record of this core team of 15 staff and stadium contractors to drive the stadium’s sustainability programme is simply world-class.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Lilly Barnes, Stadium Tour Guide, Everton FC, UK
Karolina Żurawska, Arena Gdansk/Stadion Energa, Poland
Croke Park’s ‘Environmental & Sustainability Management Group’, Ireland (WINNER)
Reece Watson, Grounds Manager, Emirates Stadium, UK
Adam Pearson, Head of Commercial, Lancashire County Cricket Club, UK
Ben Biffen, Business Development Manager, Saracens FC, UK

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Winner: Peter McKenna, Stadium Director, Croke Park, Ireland

Judging Panel comments: “The quiet achiever of the stadium world, Peter McKenna joined the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in 2001 and has been the Association’s Commercial and Stadium Director at Croke Park since 2011. The GAA is Ireland’s largest sporting organisation. It is celebrated as one of the great amateur sporting associations in the world. He has overall responsibility for not only the GAA’s commercial operations but also Europe’s fourth largest stadia with over 1.5m guest each year. In his role, Peter has been tireless in his innovation and pioneering approach to the business.

Under his watch, Croke Park has been modernised, expanded and enhanced to the very best safety, environmental and community standards. In recent years it has hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Special Olympics, set records for soccer and Heineken Cup match attendances, a historic visit by HM The Queen and numerous concerts (from U2 and Westlife to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers) – alongside hosting Ireland’s unique national games of Hurling and Gaelic Football. Peter has led his colleagues in the implementation of the best environmental standards and implement the best ideas from other stadia (such as the stadium’s Etihad Skyline rooftop walkway or creative Christmas Markets) in his efforts to drive visitor numbers and revenues. Most recently Peter has overseen the development of GAAGO, the Association’s global sports streaming service that allows Gaelic Games’ fans to watch their favourite games – live and on-demand – anywhere in the world.

He started out as a chemist, then a publisher, and his desire to experiment, innovate and apply the best learnings from others has never been stronger. A true friend to the industry and pioneer of the stadium business as a profession. In 2013, Peter won Ireland’s Marketer of the Year Award. This year we recognise his Outstanding Achievements for the stadium business – long may it continue.”

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD

Category Winner: Paul Barber, Chief Executive, Brighton & Hove Albion, UK

Shortlisted nominees:

Ian Ritchie, CEO, England Rugby/RFU, UK
Dave Kaval, President, San Jose Earthquakes, USA
Paul Barber, Chief Executive, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, UK (WINNER)
Karren Brady, Vice Chairman, West Ham United FC, UK
Jamie Barkley, CEO, Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust, Australia
Derek Richardson, Chairman, Wasps RFC/Ricoh Arena, UK
VENUE TECHNOLOGY AWARD

Category Winner: Fan Engagement Technology at Allianz Stadium, Australia

Judging Panel comments: “Two years and A$20m later, Allianz Stadium has established a new benchmark for stadium tech integrations built around a rigorous, multi-stakeholder approach to evaluation and ROI – with a focus on operational returns, data capture and future roadmap.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Orlando Magic App at Florida’s Amway Center, USA
Fan Engagement Technology at Allianz Stadium, Australia (WINNER)
Parc OL App at Parc Olympique Lyonnais, France
Melbourne Cricket Ground’s Smart Stadium technology, Australia
SharkPark3D VR tour for Cronulla Sharks FC, Australia
Fan Experience Technology at Twickenham Stadium, UK

VENUE OF THE YEAR AWARD

Category Winner: Twickenham Stadium, UK

Judging Panel comments: “2015 was a landmark year for Twickenham: hosting a world-class Rugby World Cup, delivering an enhanced fan experience, completing major capital works on-time and in-budget, implementing £20m+ of stadium technologies, and delivering record revenues back to grassroots rugby – and for this we believe Twickenham Stadium is the deserving winner of TheStadiumBusiness Awards’ Venue Of The Year 2015.”

Shortlisted nominees:
Daytona International Speedway, USA
Twickenham Stadium, UK (WINNER)
Kyle Field at Texas A&M University, USA
Adelaide Oval, Australia
T-Mobile Arena, USA
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia

Congratulations again to all of our winners, thank you to everyone in the industry for their support we look forward to seeing you all next year.

What are people saying?

You guys did a great job. Really enjoyed the programming and hospitality.

Scott Jenkins General Manager, Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The best conference I've ever attended!

Lee Zeidman President, STAPLES Center

Congratulations on a fabulous event. You guys really go the extra mile!

Chris Salmon Commercial Director, SG Fleet

A delightful summit… There are great opportunities ahead.

Javier Martinez CEO, JMTZ

Another great Summit. We couldn't be more pleased with our participation.

Magnus Danielsson VP International, Feld Entertainment Motorsports