Optus Stadium has officially been declared the most beautiful stadium in the world after CEO Mike McKenna received the 2019 Prix Versailles for Sport in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris overnight on behalf of Western Australia.
For the first time in the history of the Prix Versailles World Architectural and Design Awards, a new category for sporting stadiums and venues was created with Optus Stadium being declared as the inaugural winner. The secretary General of Prix Versailles, Jérôme Gouadain, was lavish in his praise for Optus Stadium.
"The stadium's innovative nature, ecological roots and attention to landscaping, as well as the quality of its interiors and the emphasis placed on local culture, drawing from the ancestral history of the location, were some of the decisive factors which inspired the judges' decision," he said.
"Thanks to its extraordinary architecture and design, Optus Stadium is now a symbol for the entire world of a facility whose artful conception provides a marvellous response to the major challenges of today."
The five other finalists were the Hangzhou Sports Park Stadium (China), Edgar Renteria Stadium (Colombia), Louis Armstrong Stadium (New York), Al-Najaf Stadium (Iraq) and Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow).
The Prix Versailles for Sports is a unique competition involving UNESCO and the International Union of Architects, amongst others, and sends a lasting message about the crucial, universal role played by those facilities in fostering social, economic and cultural exchanges. It awards annual prizes to the world’s most beautiful campuses, passenger stations, sports stadiums, restaurants, hotels, and other buildings of architectural merit.
The criteria used by the World Judges Panel to select the most beautiful sports facilities includes innovativeness, creativity, reflection of local heritage and energy efficiency. Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna said the award was a credit to the innovative design – a collaboration between architects HASSELL, Cox and HKS.
"This award has confirmed what our fans have known for a while, that Optus Stadium is a beautifully designed world class venue, that people love attending to watch sport and entertainment events, hold meetings and enjoy gala dinners or just play in the parkland," he said.
"Being recognised as the most beautiful sports stadium in the world will undoubtedly help attract more people to visit Perth, Optus Stadium and the Stadium precincts."
Optus Stadium has received multiple accolades during its first year of operations, including Project of the Year at TheStadiumBusiness Awards in London, the Gold award for New Tourism Business at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Award, best new caterer at the Savour Australia National Awards for Excellence and numerous architectural and landscape awards among others.
Since opening, the Stadium has hosted a number of massive sporting events and concerts including the Manchester United Tour, a State of Origin NRL clash, a Bledisloe Cup rugby union international between Australia and the All Blacks, an A-League Grand Final, test and ODI cricket, AFL finals and concerts by Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Eminem with nearly 3.5 million fans attending since opening in January 2018.
In the coming months Optus Stadium will be the venue for legendary international bands Metallica and U2 and host the first ever day-night cricket test in Perth when the Ashes winning Australia take on cross Tasman rivals New Zealand.
For a full list of the awards Optus Stadium has won during its first year, visit: https://optusstadium.com.au/the-stadium/about-us/awards.