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Goodison Park has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The Blues’ beloved stadium will face impressive competition, including Madison Square Garden in New York and Wembley Arena, for the Venue of the Year accolade at the Stadium Business Awards in June.

Opened on 24 August 1892, Goodison Park was the first major football stadium built in England and now, over 120 years later, the stadium remains one of the most iconic in English football.

The host of activities delivered at each home game to create memorable matchday experiences have breathed new life into the stadium, bringing thousands of supporters to Goodison to enjoy entertainment both inside and outside before the match.

Notably, the ‘Fan Fiesta’ event in September where fans were treated to all things Spanish, from paella sampling to flamenco dancers, brought vibrancy and colour to Goodison Park, whilst the ‘Blue Crimbo’ festivities brought reindeers, carol singers and even an ice-rink.

In addition, the stadium’s catering team has won a range of hospitality awards including Chef Team of the Year 2013, while Goodison’s stewards were named best in the Premier League for the second successive season in the official Premier League Fan Survey.

The Club’s ICT department is also shortlisted at the Stadium Business Awards for the Unsung Hero prize.

The department play a key supporting role every day of the year, making it possible for every area of the Club to function effectively. With only five members of staff, the team not only maintains the vast array of IT and data systems but also offer ongoing technical support and training to all departments.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Deputy Chief Executive of Everton Football Club, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Goodison has been recognised in the shortlist alongside some world-renowned venues. As any Evertonian will know, there is no place like Goodison Park on a matchday and it’s this revered atmosphere and experience that has seen the stadium shortlisted for this prestigious award.

“I am also incredibly proud that our ICT team has received recognition for their ‘nil satis’ approach. It’s often easy to take ICT for granted but we would be lost without them and they deserve a lot of credit for the work they carry out every single day.”

Now in their fifth year, the Stadium Business Awards recognise leadership, innovation and achievement in the delivery, operation and management of sport facilities around the world.

Hundreds of nominations were considered to create the shortlists, which will be judged by an independent panel of industry figures. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony held at the RAF Museum in London on 4 June.

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