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Western Australian venues dominate at 2023 Stadium Awards

Western Australian venues dominate at 2023 Stadium Awards
January 14, 2024

Western Australian venues have dominated at the 2023 Stadium Awards winning in four of the five categories.

In what is the fifth edition of the awards, Perth’s Optus Stadium was voted Australia’s Best Stadium - also being named winner in the Best Cricket Ground category.

In what is the fifth edition of the awards, Optus Stadium again claimed top honours in the public fan vote, accounting for 43% of the vote held on the Austadiums website between 19th December and 5th January.

The venue, which celebrates its sixth birthday milestone later this month, has been voted Best Stadium every year the Awards have been held since 2019. The MCG won the inaugural vote in 2018 and was runner-up this year with 15% of votes, while Suncorp Stadium was third with 14%.

Winning in the Best Cricket Ground category, Optus Stadium secured 35% of votes. While the venue has been criticised for its poor crowds at the Test Match between Australia and Pakistan, its BBL attendances have been strong - with the past two matches both attracting in excess of 40,000 spectators.

Advising that the awards were testament to the incredibly important role everyone involved - from fans and sports stars to entertainers, stakeholders, broadcasters and suppliers - played in making the stadium what it is today, Optus Stadium Chief Executive, Mike McKenna stated “a stadium is a pretty soulless place without fans, and the people that continue to flock to events and enjoy the Optus Stadium experience are a huge part of this recognition. Our team is focused on delivering memorable moments and results of post event surveys show we are well and truly achieving this.

“Our partnerships with VenuesWest and Tourism WA are key to our success, enabling us to continue contracting and delivering a diverse range of major events.

“We’re in the midst of our biggest ever summer with four huge concerts and the extravaganza of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) bookending a compelling cricket season.

McKenna said winning the Best Cricket Ground category for the first time was largely down to the Perth Scorchers phenomenon and provides proof that elite cricket can thrive in the venue.

Perth’s HBF Park won in the Best Rectangular Stadium category, with the home of the Perth Glory and Western Force attracting 29% of the votes, followed by Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium with 22%.

The Best Indoor Arena category was also won Perth’s RAC Arena (47%) claiming the most votes, ahead of Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena (26%) and Qudos Bank Arena (17%).

Following the announcement of the 2023 Award Winners, VenuesWest Chief Executive, David Etherton noted “we are delighted that VenuesWest has won four of a possible five honours at the 2023 Stadium Awards, with recognition across three of our venues in Optus Stadium, RAC Arena and HBF Park.

“This achievement underlines an exceptional year for events in Western Australia and showcases the collaboration between VenuesWest, our operators VenuesLive and ASM Global, Tourism WA, and our stakeholders.

“In the past 12 months, these venues successfully hosted world-class events including Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the subsequent sold-out Matildas Olympic Qualifying games, UFC 284 and the United Cup.

“Particularly noteworthy is Optus Stadium’s consistent excellence, securing the Best Stadium award for the fourth consecutive time. Its dual recognition as Australia’s Best Cricket Ground further cements its position as a leading venue globally.

“The Best Rectangular Stadium award for HBF Park and the Best Indoor Arena award for RAC Arena reinforce our commitment to providing top-tier venues that exceed expectations in hosting international and local events.”

The only award not to go to a Perth venue, was the Best Regional Stadium category, with Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium claiming the award for the fourth time. The venue, which will soon boast a 40,000 capacity, attracted 28% of votes, just ahead of Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium on 26%.

41% of all voters in the 2023 Stadium Awards were from Western Australia, 18% from Queensland, and 15% from Victoria and NSW.

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Image: Optus Stadium has been voted Australia’s Best Stadium in the 2023 Stadium Awards (top, credit: VenuesWest) and UFC at RAC Arena (below, credit: VenuesWest).

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