Stadium finalist in 'venue of the year' awards

The rave reviews and acrimony that comes with Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium could soon be capped by a new accolade - the title of world's best venue.

The roofed stadium has been named as one of five finalists vying for the "venue of the year" award at this year's stadium industry awards, TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2012, to be announced in Italy next month.

The venue is also one of eight international finalists competing for the "new venue of the year" award, while the stadium's designer, Populous, has been nominated for a design and architecture award for its work.

The nominations could see Dunedin's new venue joining the likes of the 20,000-seat Staples Centre in Los Angeles, and the 51,000-seat Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

The Staples Centre won last year's venue of the year award, while Aviva Stadium won the title of new venue of the year.

The short list of finalists had been whittled down from thousands of nominations, and would see Dunedin's stadium competing with venues including the Amway Centre in Orlando, Florida, and the Livestrong Sporting Park, in Kansas City, US, the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in Shanghai, China, and the American Express Community Stadium, in Brighton, UK.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies was "very pleased" with the nomination, which recognised the work of "an awful lot of people" and the financial contribution of ratepayers in Dunedin and Otago.

He did not know who had nominated the stadium, and was yet to decide if a DVML representative would attend next month's awards, but said it was "nice to be noticed".

"Even if we don't win it, the fact that people have seen Dunedin as something world-breaking has got to be good for us.

"I think all of us should feel pretty pleased about it."


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