FC Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium has been recognized as one of the top sports venues in the world by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
The venue was bestowed the prestigious Prix Versailles, the world prize for architecture and design, in the sports category. The honor is awarded annually to the world’s top project in four major categories, taking into account values like innovation, creativity, reflection of local heritage, and ecological efficiency.
The award follows TQL Stadium being named Best Venue at the 2022 World Football Summit in Madrid. In early December, TQL Stadium was also named the Single Field Facility of the Year by the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA).
“We’re honored to receive this prestigious award from UNESCO,” Carl H. Lindner III, FC Cincinnati’s co-CEO and controlling owner said in a release.
“This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and the entire Cincinnati community, who have helped make TQL Stadium a premier destination for soccer and entertainment in the United States. We are grateful to all of our staff, partners, and fans who have made TQL Stadium such a special place."
TQL Stadium was selected from a group of six World Selection projects in sports, which included 2022 FIFA World Cup venue Al Thumama Stadium (Doha, Qatar), Tochigi Sports Park – East Area (Utsunomiya, Japan), Etihad Arena (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), Nakia Arena (Tampere, Finland), and Stade de Luxembourg (Luxembourg City, Luxembourg).
"We are honored to receive this prestigious award and to be recognized by UNESCO with the Prix Versailles World Title," said FC Cincinnati co-CEO Jeff Berding.
"TQL Stadium was designed to be a world-class venue that would bring soccer to the forefront of Cincinnati's sports culture, and we could not have done that without the help of all the people at Populous, Turner Construction, and more who helped make it a reality. We are thrilled that it has exceeded expectations and become a renowned destination in the sports world."
TQL Stadium opened in May 2021 and is one of the largest soccer-specific facilities in Major League Soccer at 26,000 seats. The closest seats are within 15 feet of the pitch at the $250 million, privately-funded stadium.
The venue has hosted US men’s and women’s national team games, meeting all current requirements to host Concacaf and FIFA events.