After undergoing the second largest refurbishment project in NBA history, the Atlanta Hawks’ State Farm Arena has been handed the award for venue excellence by the IAVM.
Re-opened in October 2018 after nearly US$200m of work, the State Farm Arena, features the NBA’s third-largest center-hung scoreboard, fan-friendly food pricing and premium restaurant options, Topgolf Swing Suites and celebrity-inspired spaces.
It was given the Excellence accolade by the International Association of Venue Managers, at the 94th annual VenueConnect Conference and Trade show in Chicago.
The Venue Excellence Awards recognize five IAVM venues, across all sectors within the membership, which demonstrate excellence in the management and operation of public assembly venues.
“Receiving the VEA is a fantastic testament to the hard work and dedication across our entire organization to creating a new world-class building,” said Brett Stefansson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of State Farm Arena. “The opening of the arena last October was just the beginning, as we are constantly striving to provide our guests and employees with an experience that sets the industry standard for excellence.”
Award judges looked at four main criteria: operational excellence, team-building/professional development, safety and security, and service to the community, in determining the winners.
For State Farm Arena, major changes over the course of the project helped win the award, including the hiring of more than 900 new employees, the creation of seven new premium spaces, a food-and-beverage experience that received the top score of all NBA teams in season ticket member satisfaction, the implementation of a food rescue initiative with Second Helpings, and regaining the arena’s LEED Gold Certification.