2023 in review – December

Featured image credit: Paul Heyes

The winners of The StadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2023 were announced in December at Emirates Old Trafford, with Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena named Project of the Year.

Other winners included the Miami Grand Prix, the Las Vegas Sphere, Forward Associates, Deezer, Aston Villa, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Forest Green Rovers, Udinese, ABBA Arena and HH Sportsbase + Venues founder and managing director Hannu Helkiö, who received the Outstanding Achievement Award.

In other news, Everton announced that it will play its first competitive fixtures at its new stadium at the start of the 2025-26 season, but the Premier League club stressed that this decision is not because of a construction delay, with the venue still scheduled to be completed in the final weeks of 2024.

Everton officially commenced work on the stadium on July 26, 2021, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place the following month. The 2024-25 season will now be Everton’s last at Goodison Park, the club’s home since 1892.

Elsewhere, Qiddiya, one of Saudi Arabia’s ‘giga-projects’ under its Vision 2030 masterplan, unveiled plans for what it claims will be a pioneering new gaming and esports district.

Qiddiya City will be home to the world’s first mixed-use gaming and esports district which aims to attract gamers from across the globe and cement Saudi Arabia as the “global epicentre” of the sector.

December also saw private investment firm Arctos Partners acquire a minority stake in Paris Saint-Germain, with the deal to include support for the Ligue 1 club’s “real estate” initiatives amid uncertainty over its future at the Parc des Princes.

The deal will see Arctos acquire a minority common equity stake in the club, which Qatar Sports Investments has owned since 2011.

Meanwhile, in the US, hospitality company Levy partnered with the Los Angeles Clippers to launch 310 Provisions, which will seek to enhance the food and beverage experience at Intuit Dome, the new home of the NBA team that is scheduled to open next summer.