VenuesWest dominate 2023 Stadium Awards

An incredible 2023 for sport and entertainment in WA has been recognised nationally with VenuesWest venues taking out four of a possible five categories in the 2023 Stadium Awards.

Photo: Travis Hayto

An incredible 2023 for sport and entertainment in WA has been recognised nationally with VenuesWest venues taking out four of a possible five categories in the 2023 Stadium Awards.

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 public vote held on Austadiums between December 19 and January 5.

Optus Stadium, 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%.

The Best Cricket Ground category was also won by Optus Stadium led by the ground leading the way for BBL attendance and the thrilling 2023 BBL final between the Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat.

Photo: Travis Hayto

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

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

Following the announcement of the 2023 Award Winners, VenuesWest CEO David Etherton said, “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.”

Optus Stadium Chief Executive Officer Mike McKenna said 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.

“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.

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

RAC Arena General Manager Michael Scott was thrilled to see the venue recognised with the award.

“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that it was the fans that voted RAC Arena the Best Indoor Arena in Australia.

“It’s not only a testament to the venue’s hard-working staff, but to the wider team at ASM Global and our wonderfully supportive venue owners, VenuesWest. We couldn’t be prouder of this result and look forward to making 2024 bigger and better for the people of WA and beyond.”

The only award not to go to the West, was the Best Regional Stadium category, with GMHBA Stadium claiming the award for the fourth time.