The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards 2016 – The Results!

Over 370 guests from football and rugby stadia across the country have celebrated their ‘off the pitch’ successes at The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards 2016 last night.  The awards, sponsored by Heineken, were held at the Ricoh Arena, home to Premiership Rugby Club Wasps and Coventry City Football Club.  The evening included a fine dining four course menu, awards ceremony, followed by DJ and after party onsite at the Grosvenor Casino Coventry until 4am.
The prestigious awards were the 12th annual awards organised by Stadium Experience, and recognise the efforts and dedication shown by the catering, conference and events teams at every football and rugby stadium across the UK. 71 football and rugby clubs were nominated for awards, with 20 different stadium venues scooping at least one of 33 gongs (across 11 categories).  Some awards were entered by the club themselves and others by nominations from colleagues, media and other club directors.
The overall winner of the evening was Hull City Tigers, who scooped the top gong for Overall Matchday Hospitality Experience 2016, fighting off tough competition from a record 28 participating stadia across the leagues.  This is the second year running the Yorkshire venue has taken the title.
The full list of 2016 award winners includes:
Media Choice Award – Sponsored by Conference News
The Media Choice Award category is voted for by visiting local and national media. This audience voted for a warm welcome, friendly service and top class food.
WINNER – Manchester City Football Club
SILVER – Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
BRONZE – Everton Football Club
Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award – Sponsored by Hospitality Gem
The Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award category will be judged by Hospitality Gem in a mystery shopper style sales call.
WINNER – Sheffield United Football Club
SILVER – Leicester City Football Club
BRONZE – Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
Star For The Future Award – Sponsored by Sodexo Prestige
The Star For the Future Award category recognises those individuals who shine daily and will one day be leading a team of their own.
WINNER – Sophie Standen – MK Dons Football Club
SILVER – Melissa Mallen – Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club
BRONZE – Hettie Barker – Leicester Tigers Rugby Club
Operations Team of the Year Award – Sponsored by FC Business
The Operations Team of the Year Award recognises the often unseen behind-the-scenes teams that make stadium events run so smoothly. Judges looked for teams which go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the very best service to customers.
WINNER – Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club
SILVER – Chelsea Football Club
BRONZE – Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
NEW for 2016 – Best Sales or Marketing Initiative Award – Sponsored by Stadia Connect
The Best Sales or Marketing Initiative Award category highlights the very best sales and marketing ideas created and introduced within any stadium team.  Judges specifically looked for brave new ideas which have led to increased support for stadium activities.
WINNER – Sunderland Association Football Club
SILVER – Leicester City Football Club
BRONZE – Wigan Athletic Football Club
Chef Team of the Year Award – Sponsored by Hotelympia
The Chef Team of the Year Award is judged as part of the live kitchen event at Hotelympia, ExCel Centre in London.  Chefs teams had one hour to prepare, cook and present a three-course menu suitable for their Club Chairman to entertain the Head of the FA or RFU to dinner.
WINNER – Everton Football Club
SILVER – Southampton Football Club
BRONZE – BT Murrayfield Stadium
Directors Choice Award – Sponsored by Verteda
The Directors Choice Award category is voted for by Directors at each club. They nominated the club where they had the best away experience when travelling with their team. They are specifically asked to consider the welcome, service and catering.
WINNER – Reading Football Club
SILVER – Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
BRONZE – Chelsea Football Club
Matchday Hospitality Award – Sponsored by Salon Culinaire
Reported by professional Salon Culinaire chef judges who experience hospitality at UK clubs this season using strict criteria.
Matchday Hospitality Award – Small Stadium (up to 1000 hospitality seats)
WINNER – Morecambe Football Club
SILVER – Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club
BRONZE – Dundee United Football Club
Matchday Hospitality Award – Medium Stadium (1001 – 2000 hospitality seats)
WINNER – Hull City Tigers
SILVER – Bolton Wanderers Football Club
BRONZE – Everton Football Club
Matchday Hospitality Award – Large Stadium (2001+ hospitality seats)
WINNER – Manchester City Football Club
SILVER – Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
BRONZE – Hampden Park Stadium
Overall Matchday Hospitality Award
This award pitches all sized clubs against all, to announce the overall winning UK stadium.
WINNER – Hull City Tigers
SILVER – Morecambe Football Club
BRONZE – Manchester City Football Club
Andy Gibb, Managing Director of Ricoh Arena, who hosted the event, said: “It was a great honour to host an event which celebrates the best venues across the UK, and the evening was a great success on all fronts. It is always both interesting and testing when you host an event for your industry peers, but I think the event highlighted why the Ricoh Arena is up there as a leading sports, business and entertainment venue nationally and internationally.”
Stadium Experience Chair Person Collette Salmon, commented: “Once again our members and Stadia across the UK show greatness in their field, they are always looking for ways to better the service and hospitality we offer, it is always a pleasure to recognise them who work so hard all year round to bring the best in their venues across the UK, they all work very hard and will continue too!  We at Stadium Experience are proud to host the annual Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards. Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners!”
Dan Coulson, General Manager at Hull City Tigers (Overall Matchday Hospitality Award Winner) commented: “To win in 2015 was amazing, but to win again in 2016 is just incredible.  This award belongs not only to Hull City Tigers and Venue Catering Partner, but all the wonderful staff and suppliers who work passionate and tirelessly to deleiver the best service we can, every time!”
Julie Tandy, Catering Services Director from Sodexo Prestige at Everton Football Club (Chef Team of the Year Winner) said: “This is a fantastic result for Sodexo at Everton FC.  Darren Ryder and Anthony Smith under executive head chef Gareth Billingham excelled at producing a top class meal under time constraints as they do for our matchday clients at all EFC matches.  Very proud!”
Simon Westbury, Administration Manager at Sheffield United Football Club (Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award Winner) commented: “Sheffield United are delighted that our valued colleagues at Compass has won this prestigious award, demonstrating the growth of Bramall Lane from the home of the Blades to the premier events arena in south Yorkshire for non-matchday event.”
Melissa Mallen, Conference & Events Manager for Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club (Operations Team of the Year Award), said: “RWC Fanzone was a rare opportunity, we gave 110% to show the North East and those travelling from afar what Rugby is all about.  We are very proud and delighted to pick up this award.”
Richard Herring, General Manager for Compass at Reading Football Club (Directors Choice Award Winner), commented: “Delighted for the whole team that have worked endlessly to achieve this award.  From back of house to front of house, all have played their part to look after every visiting team to our suite.”

See more news about the 2016 Awards:

Awards Launch – October 2015

Heineken announced as Headline Sponsor – March 2016

Award Nominations 2016 – April 2016


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