Optus Stadium has been named the most beautiful sports facility in the world in the Prix Versailles 2019 international architecture awards.
The Perth venue hosted more than 105,000 fans over two nights of the Manchester United Tour in the past week and beaten five other world-class stadiums to land the prestigious honour.
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 – involving UNESCO and the International Union of Architects – is an annual award for 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 innovation, creativity, reflection of local heritage and energy efficiency.
Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna said the stadium was now being recognised for being more than being a well-designed and practical venue.
“This award has confirmed 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. “This award is a credit to the innovative design.
“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.”
Tourism WA Managing Director Brodie Carr said from attracting visitors for AFL matches to hosting sporting events such as last night’s Manchester United v Leeds game, the Bledisloe Cup and both mens’ and women’s T20 World Cup cricket, Optus Stadium has given WA the ability to host more world-class events than ever before.
“This award just confirms what West Australians already knew – that it is the most beautiful stadium in the most beautiful city in the world,” he said.
“Along with our interstate and overseas marketing, the stadium forms an important part of our overall strategy to get more people to have a holiday in WA.”
The World Awards Ceremony will take place on 12 September 2019 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
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 and 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, the historic State of Origin NRL clash, an A-League Grand Final, test and ODI cricket, AFL finals and concerts by Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Eminem.
Next month Optus Stadium will be the venue for the first ever Bledisloe Cup Wallabies versus All Blacks double header held in Western Australia. Metallica and U2 concerts and the first ever day-night cricket test in Perth between Australia and New Zealand are set to hit the venue later this year.