Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards 2017: a night to remember

Specialist events and hospitality teams from football and rugby stadia across the country have celebrated their ‘off the pitch’ successes at The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards 2017 last night. The sell-out event, sponsored by Carlsberg UK, was held in the new main stand at Anfield, home to Liverpool Football Club. The 480 guests, who work in conference and events, matchday hospitality, chef teams, public catering, operational departments and senior management, experienced a fine dining four course menu, awards ceremony and entertainment, followed by onsite after party until 4am.

View the gallery here.

The awards were the 13th annual awards organised by Stadium Experience, and recognize the efforts and dedication shown by the catering, conference and events teams at every football and rugby stadium across the UK and Ireland. 80 football and rugby clubs were nominated for awards, with 21 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.

In addition to this, Stadium Experience presented two extra surprise awards on the night to both Manchester City Football Club and Manchester United Football Club – The Above & Beyond Award 2017. These were awarded for their key roles in reuniting friends and relatives involved in the Manchester Arena events last week, and also working with and supporting the authorities and emergency services.

The overall winner of the awards evening was Hampden Park Stadium, who scooped the top gong for Overall Matchday Hospitality Experience 2017, fighting off tough competition from a record 36 participating stadia across the leagues – The highest ever number of entries!

The full list of 2017 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 – Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

SILVER – Watford Football Club                  

BRONZE – Manchester City Football Club               


Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award – Sponsored by HGEM

The Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper Award category was judged by HGEM in a mystery shopper style sales call.

WINNER – Aberdeen Football Club

SILVER – Reading Football Club

BRONZE – Southampton Football Club


The Above & Beyond Award 2017 – Sponsored by Stadium Experience (Additional Awards)

WINNER – Manchester City Football Club

WINNER – Manchester United Football Club


Best Sales or Marketing Initiative Award – Sponsored by The CHS Group

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 – Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

SILVER – Reading Football Club

SILVER – Southampton Football Club      

BRONZE – Chelsea Football Club


*New* Shining Star Award – Sponsored by Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events

New for 2017, the Shining Star Award category aims to recognise those individuals who are simply outstanding at what they do, and continuously shine. This may be someone at the start of their career, making great strides in their roles, or someone in a more senior role leading the way in excellence.

WINNER – India Harris – Wigan Athletic Football Club

SILVER – Lorna Butler – Liverpool Football Club

BRONZE – Danny Clarke – Bolton Wanderers Football Club


Operations Team of the Year Award – Sponsored by Tom Hewer Catering

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 – Liverpool Football Club

SILVER – Chelsea Football Club  

BRONZE – Morecambe 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, NEC in Birmingham. 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 – Worcester Warriors Rugby Club            

BRONZE – Hampden Park Stadium


Directors Choice Award – Sponsored by FC Business

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 – Newcastle United Football Club                              

SILVER – Norwich City Football Club

BRONZE – Bradford City Football Club


Matchday Hospitality Award – Sponsored by Verteda

Visited by professional Salon Culinaire chef judges who experience the whole hospitality offering at clubs this season, judged using strict criteria.

 Matchday Hospitality Award – Small Stadium (up to 1000 hospitality seats)

WINNER – Morecambe Football Club
SILVER – Heart of Midlothian Football Club
BRONZE – Dundee United Football Club

Matchday Hospitality Award – Medium Stadium (1001 – 2000 hospitality seats)

WINNER – Bolton Wanderers Football Club
SILVER – Southampton Football Club
BRONZE – Middlesbrough Football Club

Matchday Hospitality Award – Large Stadium (2001+ hospitality seats)

WINNER – Hampden Park Stadium

SILVER – Manchester City Football Club
BRONZE – Liverpool Football Club


The Big One – Overall Matchday Hospitality Award

This award pitches all sized clubs against all, to announce the overall winning UK stadium.

WINNER – Hampden Park Stadium

SILVER – Morecambe Football Club
BRONZE – Bolton Wanderers Football Club

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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