Design & Development Awards 2018 – Winners Announced

The winners of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2018 were announced on Tuesday evening at the Hilton London Wembley.

The Awards were launched to recognise leadership, innovation and achievement in the design, development, construction and refurbishment of major sports venue facilities globally.

The awards ceremony took place during TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit 2018 at the Hilton London Wembley in front of an international audience of senior industry figures. TheStadiumBusiness team thanks the industry for its input in compiling and collating the shortlists.

Ian Nuttall, Founder of the TheStadiumBusiness, said: “The Awards are about celebrating the professionals involved in the design and delivery of the next generation of stadia. Since its launch in 2017, The Design & Development Awards have already recognised some of the great leaders and innovators in our industry.

“Now in its second year, we received many outstanding nominations yet again, including some of the world’s top venues. Our industry expert judges were faced with the hard task of deciding the winners.

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

“The 2018 shortlisted entries were second to none. I’d like to congratulate those that made the podium at the Awards, and thank you for doing what you do for our industry, long may it continue. It was a pleasure to recognise the shortlisted entries and this evening’s winners.”

Winners were decided by our judging panel of industry experts and included:

Industry Partner – BaAM Productions

For nearly 30 years, Toronto-based BaAM has been trusted by the top brands in sports to deliver unparalleled fan experiences, sports spectaculars and competition venues in unexpected places. The company’s proven ability to produce never-before-seen events comes at a time when more organisations are exploring non-traditional revenue streams.

BaAM is a design-driven production company and an industry leader in venue conversion for professional sporting events. The company’s portfolio includes a number of marquee events, including over 20 outdoor games for the NHL, first-ever Major Series of Putting Stadium, MLB Fort Bragg Game, MLB Little League Classic and FIFA Women’s World Cup. Our judges said: “BaAM’s projects tend to be the first of their kind, blazing trails for what fan experiences will evolve to become in the years ahead.”

Shortlisted Finalists

BaAM Productions


Movement Strategies




Innovation – Melbourne Cricket Ground (Installation of Organics Dehydrator)

At the end of 2017, the MCG became the first sports venue in the world to close the loop on organics recycling – with waste produced at the venue treated in-house and turned into a soil additive that is being used to sustain the heritage listed parkland which surrounds the stadium.

Our judges said: “Disposal of waste and issues with landfill are a global problem and venues in particular generate substantial organic material (food, turf). The solution implemented by Melbourne Cricket Club at the MCG not only recycles this waste in-house, reducing costs and emissions associated with transport, but also turns it into a useful product that can benefit local environment and communities.”

Shortlisted Finalists

Organics Dehydrator at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia

Daily’s Place at TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, USA

Rebranding of Cuitat de Valencia, Levante UD, Spain

Heineken Rooftop Club at Audi Field, Washington DC, USA

On-site Hilton Garden Inn at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, UK

Pinnacle NDC for Sporting KC, Kansas City, USA

MSOP Temporary Golf Stadium, Las Vegas, USA

Interior & Fit-Out – Watford FC’s Sensory Room

The Watford FC Sensory Room enables children on the autism spectrum to enjoy football in a calm environment. As a club with a proud family tradition, the pioneering opening of the room has had a big impact on children who struggle to cope with big crowds and noise levels at the stadium, as well as their families.

Our judges said: “Watford FC’s Sensory Room at Vicarage Road is truly a unique approach to a ‘private’ club space at a sports venue. A leading example of using stadium interior spaces not simply for commercial gain but for community engagement and genuine enhancement of the inclusive experience. An example for all professional sports clubs to follow.”

Shortlisted Finalists

IdentoGO by IDEMIA Green Room at Levi’s Stadium, USA

Directors Club at Villa Park, UK

LA Clippers Club at STAPLES Center, USA

Liverpool Collection Lounge at Echo Arena, UK

Club Wembley Experience Upgrades at Wembley Stadium, UK

Sensory Room at Vicarage Road/Watford FC, UK

Project of the Year – Optus Stadium

Following an 18-month construction period, Australia’s newest stadium, the multipurpose Optus Stadium, officially opened on 21 January 2018, several months ahead of schedule. Designed and operated with a specific ‘fans first’ focus, in only eight months of operations, this multi-purpose Stadium has welcomed over 1.7 million fans to 35 major events.

Our judges said: “Fan-first design has also been adopted as the operating mantra of this wonderful new asset for Australia and the people of Perth. Opening on budget and ahead of schedule is worthy in itself but it is the focus on the guest experience – from the range of bars, diversity of menu, use of local suppliers, LED lighting, parenting rooms, public art, clear signage, more female and accessible toilets, through to the cupholders and so much more – that sets this new venue apart.”

Shortlisted Finalists

Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, USA

Optus Stadium, Perth, Australia

Kuala Lumpur Sports City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, USA

Louis Armstrong Stadium, New York, USA

Audi Field, Washington DC, USA

SunTrust Park, Atlanta, USA

Outstanding Achievement Award – Jim Griffiths (Managing Director, Vanguardia Consulting)

After 14 years as Director of Acoustics for Capita Symonds, Jim and other senior colleagues departed to form Vanguardia Consulting in May 2006. Jim has over 30 years experience in all technical aspects related to sound, acoustics, noise and vibration and has specialised in the sound management and control at over 1,000 music events, along with numerous stadium and arena builds.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), Chairman of the London Branch of the IOA and was awarded the Institute’s Tyndall medal for his work in entertainment acoustics. He has presented over 30 technical papers in the UK and overseas.

Our judges said: “Jim Griffiths is one of the unsung heroes of the stadium sector. He, along with his colleagues at Vanguardia, are the ‘go to’ experts when it comes to stadium and arena acoustics issues. Whether it be licensing or technical design – or as an expert witness – Jim has helped deliver, maintain and refresh the audio performance of many of the sector’s greatest buildings, including The O2, Royal Albert Hall, Twickenham Stadium and Wembley Stadium. We are delighted to recognise Jim’s longstanding, expert contribution to better stadium design. Long may it continue!”