By Ed Attwood
Three UAE sporting venues make top 15 in worldwide poll by major magazine.
Dubai’s Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse has been voted the second most important sports venue globally by SportsPro magazine, beating out icons such as the UK’s Wembley Stadium and
Two other UAE venues made the 30-strong list, with
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit
the highest motor-racing venue at eight, and Dubai Sports City coming in in eleventh place.
The winner of the poll was the World Games Stadium in Kaohsung, Taiwan, which features 8,844 solar panels that power 75 percent of the venue when it is in use, and 80 percent of the surrounding area when the stadium is not in use.
Meydan was described as a ‘game-changing’ venue for both the Middle East and the horse racing industry, and the venue – which opened officially in time for the Dubai World Cup in March – rated highly in terms of innovation, originality, infrastructure, potential commercial prowess and the sheer magnitude of the integrated facility.
“Meydan has set new standards and its placing properly reflects that. It is not only a monument to Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for Dubai, but a new benchmark for the entire international racing industry,” said David Cushnan, editor of SportsPro.
“Every other future racing venue will be judged against features like Meydan’s Grandstand, the hotel and the new training facilities. It is also a perfect marriage of tradition and technology and the centrepiece of a city built from scratch, completely unique in that it could only happen in Dubai.”
The other venues making the top ten were: the
Cowboy Stadium in Dallas
(South Africa); the
(Japan); the All England Club (UK); the
(Germany) and the Bird’s Nest (China).
A 100-strong original list of venues was compiled by the SportsPro editorial team, before the rankings were determined through consultation with a number of sports industry experts which included designers, architects, stadium managers and sponsorship experts.