Akwa Ibom Stadium nominated for global award

Nigeria’s most modern stadium, the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, has been nominated for the 2014 Stadium of the Year award.

According to a press release from StadiumDB, which keeps a database of stadia worldwide, the newly built Stadium in Uyo, nicknamed “Nest of Champions”, is among venues nominated for the award.

A breakdown reveals that the current edition includes 32 major stadiums opened in 2014. Eight are located in Brazil, three in the USA, while Hungary and Poland each have two nominees.

“It’s great to see a new stadium for Nigeria to be proud of. Its white outer cladding and illumination also make it stand out globally and become a true landmark for Uyo,” Grzegorz Kaliciak, founder of StadiumDB.com, organizer of the competition, said.

Officially opened on November 7, 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Akwa Ibom International Stadium is set to be the new hub of sporting activities in Nigeria even as the Super Eagles have already adopted the stadium as their new home ground, same as the U23 team, Dream Team VI.

Seen as a largely transparent award, stadium enthusiasts from around the world have been accorded the chance to select their Stadium of the Year.

“Each Internet user may vote only once by selecting five most favourite stadia. Within the first 4 days over 25,000 people have given their vote through dedicated online platform. The vote is open until February 17,” the organisers said in a press statement.

“A separate vote is run by the competition jury, consisting of famous architects from five countries. Bob van Bebber and Mike Bell from South Africa designed stadiums of the 2010 World Cup, while Bruno Campos from Brazil was one of the architects of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Jury also consists of John Bontinck (Belgium), Bryan Roe (Ireland) and Serban Tiganas (Romania).

The Public Vote and Jury Vote awards will both be announced on February 19.

The Stadium of the Year is held every year in January and February by Stadiony.net and StadiumDB.com, two websites dedicated solely to sports stadiums. Current edition is already the fifth one. Previous winners include Aviva Stadium (2010), PGE Arena Gdańsk (2011), Gremio Arena (2012) and Ghelamco Arena (2013).

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