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Awards

#SBA24: Winners of TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2024

The #SBA24 winners

Image: Paul Heyes

The #SBA24 winners

Image: Paul Heyes

Eden Park secured the Venue of the Year accolade while Francesco Gianello, Head of Stadium, Juventus FC, received an Outstanding Achievement Award during TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2024 at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Other winners included the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 (Event of the Year); Jon Babbs, Stadium Director at Tottenham Hotspur FC (Executive of the Year); the Singapore National Stadium Venue Operations Team (Unsung Hero); and the MLB London Series – London Stadium/Freemans Event Partners/DNC (Fan Experience). There were also accolades for Croke Park’s 50 Mile Menu (Product Innovation); The Recycled Pitch – Wembley Stadium (Sustainability & Community); Lancs TV on JioTV (Sponsorship, Sales & Marketing); and Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Venue Technology).

On accepting the Venue of the Year Award, Nick Sautner, CEO of Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, said: “I can’t be more proud of this award. We have such a wonderful team and over the last 12 months they have to overcome adversity. This award is dedicated to all of our partners back at home and I would also like to recognise the industry, which becomes part of your family.”

Outstanding Achievement Award-winner Gianello, who described his accolade as “amazing and totally unexpected”, said: “I want to share this prize with my colleagues. When we opened our stadium we were completely new in the market and we were offering something different in the Italian landscape.”

Now in their 15th 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 in front of an audience of senior industry figures at the end of the first day of TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2024 conference, with the winners decided by the votes of a 19-strong, international expert #SBA24 Judging Panel.

“Sports teams and athletes have plenty of awards but TheStadiumBusiness Awards are unique in recognising all the work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ to deliver amazing experiences for fans,” commented Angelina Tennino, Co-Founder of TheStadiumBusiness Awards. “My sincere thanks to all of our judges for their time and considerations in reviewing the entries. Congratulations to all of the finalists who made the shortlists this year from a record number of entries they should all be very proud of their achievements. And special praise to the winners who scooped the votes of the judges to reach the podium.”

Now in their 15th year, TheStadiumBusiness Awards are the only awards to recognise a whole spectrum of achievements from across the global stadium industry.

TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2024

WINNERS & FINALISTS

The #SBA24 winners along with the shortlisted nominees in each category are as follows:


EVENT OF THE YEAR

WINNER: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 (Australia/New Zealand)

The category shortlist also included:

  • AFL Gather Round 2023 – Adelaide Oval (Australia)
  • Florida-Georgia College Football – EverBank Stadium/ASM Global (USA)
  • 2023 United Rugby Championship Grand Final – DHL Stadium (South Africa)
  • FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 – Mall of Asia Arena (Philippines)
  • 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships – Emirates Arena (UK)

UNSUNG HERO

WINNER: Venue Operations Team, Singapore National Stadium

The category shortlist also included:

  • Peter Higgs, Facilities & Seating Supervisor, Arsenal FC (UK)
  • Perry and Gregory Eisenberg, Ticket Operations Event Directors, Miami Heat (USA)
  • Fiona Cronin, Meetings & Events Department Manager, Croke Park (Ireland)
  • David Healey, Stadium Manager, Scarlets Rugby (UK)
  • Samantha Norris, Financial Controller, The Trusts Arena (New Zealand)
  • Chris Reed, Catering Services Director, Newcastle United FC at Sodexo (UK)

FAN EXPERIENCE

WINNER: MLB London Series – London Stadium/Freemans Event Partners/Delaware North (UK)

The category shortlist also included:

  • Holte End Terrace – Aston Villa FC (UK)
  • NBA first with Footprint Center – OVG Hospitality (USA)
  • RCD Espanyol/MolcaWorld Tunnel experience (Spain)
  • SSE Arena Belfast – Frictionless Guest Experiences (UK)
  • The Mezz at AO Arena (UK)
  • The Park at UBS Arena – New York Islanders (USA)

PRODUCT INNOVATION

WINNER: Croke Park’s 50 Mile Menu (Ireland)

The category shortlist also included:

  • SmartGateway – Xtract One Technologies
  • VIP Booker sales automation– Johan Cruijff ArenA/iXpole
  • Conversational AI for Venues – Satisfi Labs
  • Tailored Ticketing Tools – Vancouver Giants/Showpass
  • Beerwall at The Den – Millwall FC/Sodexo Live!/Ebar

SUSTAINABILITY & COMMUNITY

WINNER: The Recycled Pitch – Wembley Stadium (UK)

The category shortlist also included:

  • Welcoming Indigenous People – BC Place (Canada)
  • The Green Rider – The O2/AEG Europe (UK)
  • Forever Green – Real Betis (Spain)
  • Super Bowl’s 100% renewable energy – Allegiant Stadium/NFL (USA)
  • A Journey to Net Zero – Marylebone Cricket Club (UK)
  • Shift to Zero – Silverstone (UK)
  • Break the Silence – Avicii Arena (Sweden)

SPONSORSHIP, SALES & MARKETING

WINNER: LancsTV on JioTV in India (UK)

The category shortlist also included:

  • Experience ALL Showroom – Everton FC (UK)
  • NFT season ticket campaign – C.D. Leganés (Spain)
  • First naming rights deal for Racecourse Ground – Wrexham FC (UK)
  • A new names – Scottish Gas & Murrayfield (UK)
  • Joie deal sets WSL first – Manchester City Women (UK)

VENUE TECHNOLOGY

WINNER: Integrated tech & 6G – Mercedes-Benz Stadium (USA)

The category shortlist also included:

  • COSM at Hollywood Park (USA)
  • digiLED screen for Yorkshire CCC – Headingley Cricket Ground (UK)
  • NFL’s Biggest Endzone screen – Gillette Stadium/Patriots/Daktronics (USA)
  • Go-Ahead Entry – MLB/Citizens Bank Park (USA)
  • Facial recognition tech – Allianz Parque/Palmeiras (Brazil)
  • FIBA glass basketball court – LumiFlex/ASB GlassFloor (Spain)

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Jon Babbs, Stadium Director, Tottenham Hotspur FC (UK)

The category shortlist also included:

  • Sashi Brown, President, Baltimore Ravens (USA)
  • Bruno Muzzi, CEO, Atletico Mineiro (Brazil)
  • Nicolas Dupeux, CEO, Paris Entertainment Company (France)
  • Francesco Gianello, Head of Stadium Facilities, Juventus FC (Italy)
  • Paul Cuttill, Vice-President of Stadium Operations, Liverpool FC (UK)
  • Kevin Tedesco, General Manager, Citizens Bank Park (USA)

VENUE OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Eden Park (New Zealand)

The category shortlist also included:

  • AO Arena (UK)
  • Citizens Bank Park (USA)
  • CPKC Stadium (USA)
  • Croke Park (Ireland)
  • Suncorp Stadium (Australia)
  • Wembley Stadium (UK)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

RECIPIENT: Francesco Gianello, Head of Stadium, Juventus FC (Italy)


 

TheStadiumBusiness would like to thank the Judging Panel for its collective deliberations and votes – and to everybody in the sector who nominated their colleagues, venues and projects. 

After cleaning, de-duping and validation, 151 full entries were considered across the submissions – resulting in a £755 payment from our Donation for your Nomination to our charity partner EMERGENCY NGO to provide ongoing humanitarian projects in war zones and disaster areas where the charity operates.

Sorry if your entry didn’t make the shortlists this year but your submission has at least done some good to support Emergency’s vital work in conflict zones across the globe.

Our congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and the winners. We will be featuring more details on their achievements on our TheStadiumBusiness.com news channel. Nominations for TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2025 will open in March 2025.

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