The World Football Summit Awards have named FC Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium by Populous as the winner of Best Venue of 2022 in an event held Wednesday night in Seville, Spain.
The UK-based publication, MONDO STADIA, who presented the Best Venue award at the event, commented on the $250 million project. They shared, "The design of TQL Stadium intentionally harnesses the energy of a dedicated fan base to bring a world-class soccer experience to Cincinnati. The new, state-of-the-art venue boasts a striking presence, connecting two historic neighborhoods — Over the Rhine and the West End — and honoring the legacy of soccer in the Queen City through a progressive design and ambitious interpretation of a Cincinnati on the rise."
According to a press announcement, the project was selected based on the following judging criteria: fan experience, technological advances, matchday operations, personalized attention, and catering.
Populous’ design is visually distinct with 500 aluminum fins that together form a twisting motion meant to symbolize the athletic struggle playing out on its pitch. The facade can be illuminated thanks to a built-in LED system similar to that seen in the firm’s previous Allianz Field design in Minnesota.
Its monumental entrance was inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome and leads into a flexible public plaza area that can be configured for a variety of events and celebrations. The team’s goal was to create a "One Singular Cincy," and this is accomplished through its seating arrangement and ability to connect the distinct West End and Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods.
Views inside the 26,000 stadium are unencumbered thanks to its 360-degree continuous seating bowl arrangement. A 300,000-square-foot canopy shields them from above. Finally, an "elevated fan experience" is provided through a series of amenities-laden luxury suites and a sloped, 3,000-seat rooting section called, The Bailey, which is positioned to allow space for the widest video board in a North American soccer stadium.
"We created an experience at TQL Stadium that transcends the functional and technical aspects of the building," explains Isabelle Rijnties, the lead interior designer for the project. "By carefully considering how users will experience the space, we created an emotional connection to the event, building and city through interior details. While the seating bowl is where fans experience the raw energy of the live event, and considerable attention is paid to that element, the aesthetic of premium and public spaces further enriches the experience of every fan."
More information about the winning project can be found here.
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