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Friday, June 18, 2010 ~ 23:30pm

The winners of the inaugural Stadium Business Awards in association with Guinness were unveiled tonight at the world-famous Guinness Storehouse in the heart of Dublin.

The first awards to recognise achievements in the stadium industry, all aspects of the international stadium and sports venue sector were covered.

The awards ceremony took place during the Stadium Business Summit at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, in front of an audience of over 150 stadium industry professionals from around the globe.

Winners included Cornellà-El Prat Stadium (the new home of RFC Espanyol football club in Barcelona), for Venue of the Year; Wimbledon Centre Court’s retractable roof won Innovation of the Year; Dublin’s Croke Park picked up awards for both Sustainability and Safety while Wembley’s pitch won the Backlash Award.

“The judging panel was particularly impressed with the healthy spirit of innovation and professionalism which is generating new and exciting venues around the world,” commented judge Michael Bolingbroke, COO, Manchester United FC. “It’s fantastic news that Sustainability, Matchday Experience and Safety all went to venues in the UK and Ireland, demonstrating how these countries are leading the way in many areas of global best practice.”

“Created this year to recognise the leading venues and the people behind them, the awards received a remarkable 1,000 nominations, so winners should be very proud of their achievements”, commented Ian Nuttall, co-founder of TheStadiumBusiness.com. “An impressive calibre of entries testified to the incredibly high standards being attained right across the industry.”

Nominations from around the world were whittled down to a shortlist judged by an independent panel of industry figures, including:

  • Michael Bolingbroke, COO, Manchester United Football Club
  • Paul Fletcher, Chief Executive, Burnley FC
  • Paul Latham, COO International Music, Live Nation Entertainment
  • Rory Sheridan, Head of Sponsorship, Guinness/Diageo
  • Charlie Banks, Sustainable Events Ltd

“Guinness is delighted to support the Stadium Business Awards 2010 and to play our part in recognising the outstanding achievements of sports venues around the world,” commented Rory Sheridan, Sponsorship Manager of Guinness at Diageo Ireland.

“As a major sports sponsor globally, Guinness recognises that the quality, safety and entertainment value of the venues in which our sponsorships are hosted form a vital ingredient to the overall success of the sponsorship experience for all involved.”

Sheridan added: “Our support of these awards shows our appreciation for all the great sports stadiums and their operators around the world.”

Winners of the Stadium Business Awards 2010

Venue of the Year

Winner: Cornellà-El Prat Stadium/RFC Espanyol, Barcelona, Spain

"world-class stadium, with cost-effective design, entirely privately-financed and after many, many years of waiting, the club and its fans have a fantastic place to call home.... UEFA has already recognised its achievements... over 40,000 seats to international standards at a cost of less than €85m... showing the way in value-for-money"

Runner-up: Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK

"for continuing to showcase the best of stadium management... a desire to be a venue for all kinds of events... innovation with cashless payment... and a welcome 'can do' attitude and total focus on customer service"

Finalists:

  • Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK
  • The O2, London, UK
  • Twickenham Stadium, London, UK
  • Espanyol Stadium, Barcelona, Spain
  • Cowboys Stadium, Texas, USA
  • Donbass Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine

Event of the Year

Winner: Donbass Arena opening ceremony, Ukraine

“…for showing that fantastic stadium events, experiences and professional delivery can happen anywhere, when the right stadium management and creative teams are aligned…”

Finalists:

  • 1st nPower Ashes Test match at SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff
  • Opening ceremony Donbass Arena, Ukraine
  • Croke Park's 125th GAA Anniversary Show, Dublin
  • Paul McCartney in Concert, O2 Arena, London
  • Andy Murray at Wimbledon under a closed roof, London

Executive of the Year

Winner: Patrik Meyer, CEO, Commerzbank Arena, Germany

Finalists:

  • Glenn Delve, Group MD, Rose Bowl plc, UK
  • Patrik Meyer, CEO, Commerzbank Arena, Germany
  • Terry Stevens, Stevens & Associates, UK
  • Shane Chalmers, Head, Stadium Management Co., Keepmoat Stadium, UK
  • Russ Stanley, Managing VP, Ticket Services & Client Relations, San Francisco Giants, USA

Unsung Hero Award

Winner: Everton FC’s ‘Stadium Department’, UK

Finalists:

  • Paul Burgess, Grounds Manager, Real Madrid FC, Spain
  • Everton FC’s ‘Stadium Department’, UK
  • Paula Street, Lindley Group (Caterers) Area Manager, UK

Bulldozer Award

Winner: The Bird’s Nest/Beijing Olympic Stadium, China

“…for poor planning and execution in post-Games phase... since 2008 very few major events and really no legacy planning at all…”

Finalists:

  • Withdean Stadium, Brighton, UK
  • Fratton Park, Portsmouth, UK
  • The Bird’s Nest/Beijing Olympic Stadium, China

Backlash Award

Winner: Wembley’s pitch fiasco

“…the problems continue... for the national football stadium to have a poor pitch is not acceptable…”

Finalists:

  • Wembley’s pitch fiasco
  • Durban Stadium’s jammed Sky Ride, South Africa

Best Matchday Experience

Winner: Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, UK

“...for turning around a suffering stadium, delivering new levels of customer service, re-connecting to the local community... and for showing that great matchday experiences are not confined to just the top clubs…”

Finalists:

  • Keepmoat Stadium (Doncaster United), Doncaster, UK
  • Grolsch Veste (The Grolsch Fortress/FC Twente), The Netherlands
  • Anfield Road (Liverpool FC), UK

Team Player of the Year

Winner: Philip Johnson, Populous (London 2012 Olympic Stadium design team)

“…for coping with the pressures, expectations and demands of multiple stakeholders in delivering a world-class stadium…”

Finalists:

  • Liz Cooper, Marketing Manager, Ricoh Arena, UK
  • Semih Usta, Sports Director, Besiktas JK, Turkey
  • Philip Johnson, Populous (London 2012 Olympic Stadium design team)

Safety Award

Winner: Croke Park Stadium, Ireland

“…the record speaks for itself... 2008/2009 had over 4 million visitors without major incident...”

Finalists:

  • Donbass Arena, Ukraine / intelligent CCTV System
  • Croke Park Stadium, Dublin / training & management
  • Emirates Stadium (Arsenal FC), London / matchday stewarding

Innovation of the Year

Winner: Centre Court’s movable roof, Wimbledon AELTC

Finalists:

  • Agilysys Cash Reconciliation System at Twickenham Stadium
  • SkyView visitor attraction at the Ericsson Globe, Stockholm/Sweden
  • Centre Court’s retractable roof, Wimbledon – AELTC
  • DallasCowboysMaps.com travel advisory service
  • Payment Solution / JustPay contactless smart cards

Sustainability Award

Winner: Croke Park Stadium’s Cúl Green (Green Goal) Initiative, Dublin

“…for leading the way on environmental management of stadiums globally…”

Finalists:

  • Installation of photovoltaic roof, Ullevi Stadium, Sweden
  • Croke Park Stadium’s Cúl Green (Green Goal) Initiative, Dublin
  • VANOC – Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Creativity

Winner: Cowboys Stadium HD Video Board, Texas, USA

“…fantastic concept, amazing execution – when the stadium is competing with the living room, why not bring the living room into the stadium?...”

Finalists:

  • Museo River at River Plate FC, Argentina
  • Cowboys Stadium HD Video Board, Texas, USA
  • Emirates Stadium banner-wrapping, London
  • Sunderland’s Stadium of Light 2009 events calendar, UK
  • Ricoh Arena’s ticket marketing offers, UK

About the Stadium Business Awards 2010 in association with Guinness

Held for the first time this year, the Stadium Business Awards in association with Guinness, were created as a platform to showcase innovation, professionalism and best practice within the stadium industry. The awards are organised by Xperiology, creators of the Stadium Business Summit conference and suppliers of stadium management training, consultancy and advisory services to the sports and entertainment sector.

For more information, please visit www.stadiumbusinesssummit.com

Press contact:

Ian Pearson PR, Mob: +44 (0)7799 412 572 Email: ianrobertpearson@hotmail.com

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