Over 370 guests from the UK’s major football and rugby stadiums celebrated their ‘off the pitch’ successes at The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards (SEHA) 2016 last night (2 June).
The awards, sponsored by Heineken, were held at the home of Premiership Rugby Club Wasps and Coventry City Football Club, the Ricoh Arena.
A dinner and awards ceremony was followed by DJ and after party onsite at the Grosvenor Casino Coventry until 4am.
This year’s awards were the 12th annual edition organised by Stadium Experience, and recognise the efforts and dedication shown by the catering, conference and events teams at the football and rugby stadiums across the UK.
This year saw 71 clubs getting nominations, 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 club directors.
The Overall category winner was Hull City Tigers, who scooped the top gong for Overall Matchday Hospitality Experience 2016.
The night’s first award – The Media Choice Award – was sponsored by Conference News and presented by its editor, Paul Colston, to Manchester City FC.
The award was voted for by visiting local and national media and was judged on warm welcome, friendly service and top class food.
Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award went to Sheffield United FC.
The other award winners were:
Star For The Future Award –– Sophie Standen – MK Dons FC
Operations Team of the Year Award – Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club
Best Sales or Marketing Initiative Award – Sunderland Association Football Club
Chef Team of the Year Award – Everton Football Club
Directors Choice Award – Reading Football Club
Matchday Hospitality Award – Small Stadium (up to 1000 hospitality seats) – Morecambe FC
Matchday Hospitality Award – Medium Stadium (1001 – 2000 hospitality seats) – Hull City Tigers
Matchday Hospitality Award – Large Stadium (2001+ hospitality seats) – Manchester City Football Club
Andy Gibb, MD 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 chairperson Collette Salmon, added: “Once again our members and stadiums 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 those that work so hard all year round to bring the best in their venues across the UK… Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners!”
Dan Coulson, GM 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 deliver the best service we can, every time!”
Julie Tandy, catering services director from Sodexo Prestige at Everton FC (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!”