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Design & Development Awards – Judges Revealed!

We are thrilled to announce the nine stadium leaders who make up our international Judging Panel for TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2019.

It’s time for their reveal! Check them out below… Don’t forget, nominations open on the 5th of August!

Peter Ayres, Global Service Leader – Structural, Aurecon Group, Singapore

Peter has over 25 years’ experience in sports design across the world. He most recently led the team that delivered FC Spartak’s first stadium in Moscow, is part of the design team responsible for Al Wakrah Stadium – the first stadium revealed for Qatar 2022 FIFA World CupTM and, as part of the AECOM team, led the engineering design for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues. Passionate about design excellence and the winner of the ACE Engineering Professional of the Year, Peter has delivered highly technical projects including the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station, the world’s first relocatable, permanently manned Antarctic research station.

William Mannarelli, Director of Real Estate & Espai Barça (FC Barcelona), Spain

William started his career working in the Sports & Entertainment Industry working for the Anschutz Entertainment Group as the Project Manager overseeing the successful completion of the O2 World Berlin in 2008. From there, William served as ICON Venue Group’s Vice President responsible for ICON’s European operations based in Berlin, Germany. While serving as ICON’s European Project Executive, William was responsible for all aspects of ICON’s engagements in Hamburg, Bern, Helsinki, Yekaterinburg, Geneva, Lausanne, Seoul, Barcelona, Fribourg and Dubai. Additionally, William  spearheaded ICON’s efforts in Rome representing Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) in their efforts to secure the UEFA EURO 2016 for Italy. Finally, William was also in charge of consulting projects for the Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF), Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy (POPB) and Stadium Spartak in Moscow, Russia. In July 2014, William decided to take on new responsibilities and moved to Barcelona, Spain to work as FC Barcelona’s Project Director overseeing the Espai Barça Project.

Paul Fisher, CEO, The Jockey Club, UK

Paul runs the leading racecourse group in the UK, which stages several of the nation’s biggest events, including The Cheltenham Festival, the Randox Health Grand National and The Investec Derby. Under Paul’s leadership, Jockey Club Racecourses has delivered significant growth, allowing for major investment into Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, including through prize money, facilities and innovation. Paul has driven a huge amount of innovation within The Jockey Club and British Racing. This includes the Jockey Club Live entertainment venture, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Services, online loyalty scheme Rewards4Racing and raising £25 million from sport’s first mini-bond. He has led the ongoing development of The Jockey Club brand, resulting in significant increases in commercial revenues.

Natasha Thiebaut, Director – Hospitality & Customer Experience, Bluerock Sports & Entertainment, UK

After 18 years running IMG’s Stadium Division, Natasha co-founded Bluerock. Bluerock’s team of specialists work with venues to increase revenues and improve commercial and operational efficiency. Natasha played a key role in the setup, sales and management the Club Wembley programme. Since then she has created hospitality programmes for numerous clubs and stadia including, Besiktas FC and Galatasaray FC in Turkey, The Maracanã in Brazil and Spartak Moscow in Russia. She has recently worked on the design and operation strategy for several FIFA World Cup stadia in Qatar. Current clients include the Super Bock Arena in Portugal, Jakarta International Stadium, Leinster Rugby and FC Porto.  Natasha’s work for venues around the world give her an unrivalled knowledge and understanding of best and next practice in hospitality strategy.

Thad Sheely, COO, Atlanta Hawks, USA

Thad Sheely joined the Atlanta Hawks in 2015 as COO and oversees all aspects of team and arena business operations and real estate development. He is leading the $200 million transformation of the Hawks Arena and built the team’s the 90,000 SF new practice facility at the Emory Sports Medicine Complex. Sheely has over 20 years of experience at the intersection of sports and real estate, beginning with the development of AmericanAirlines Arena and then moving on to build MetLife Stadium for the NY Jets and Giants. Most recently, Sheely took a sojourn away from sports into pure real estate as COO of Hudson Yards, the $20 billion mixed-use development changing Manhattan’s skyline.

Ebru Koksal, Senior Advisor, J. Stern & Co., Turkey

Ebru was the first woman to be elected to the Executive Board of European Club Association in September 2010 and she served as the vice chairwoman of Institutional Relations Working Group. In October 2011, she was appointed as the General Secretary of Turkish Football Federation and led a restructuring and corporate efficiency project, which was highly praised by FIFA. She was the recipient of the Executive of the Year Award 2011 by TheStadiumBusiness Awards. Ebru served as a Board Member at Galatasaray Sports Club between June 2013 – May 2015 and besides assuming the role of General Secretary for the Board, she was responsible from Foreign Relations, Stadium and Football Academy. She is currently a senior adviser at J Stern & Co., Chair of Women in Football, UK, a member of Scottish FA’s Equality and Diversity Advisory Board, a Board Member at MNT Health Services A.S. and Doublepass BV. Ms. Köksal is a graduate of Brown University, with dual degree in Economics and International Relations and graduate of Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Uma Srivastava, COO, KultureCity, USA

Uma’s “real” job is leading business development at Pack Health where she was honored as Birmingham’s “Rising Star of Healthcare”. Outside the walls of Pack Health, Uma volunteers and operates as the volunteer COO of KultureCity, the USA’s leading nonprofit aimed to create an inclusion and acceptance to communities nationally and internationally. Uma manages all day-to-day operations and leads the sensory inclusive movement which has now successfully launched in over 250 venues in the USA, Australia, and Canada.

Ian Nuttall, Founder and CEO, TheStadiumBusiness, UK

Ian’s working life began in Sports Hospitality Events Management (including Formula One, horse racing and Wimbledon), before pursuing an award-winning career in B2B magazine publishing. He has co-launched and edited numerous business titles, ranging from
 energy and industrial processes through to airport design and Intelligent Transportation Systems. He has also founded many of the sports sector’s most respected publications and news sources. In addition to his ongoing commitments as a sports business writer and speaker, Ian provides highly-valued, specialist consultancy to the sports and entertainment sectors. Xperiology also owns and organises the industry’s much-respected Ticketing Business Forum and publishes TheStadiumBusiness.com and TheTicketingBusiness.com news channels.

Mags Mernagh, Infrastructure and Estates Director, Leicester City Football Club, UK


Mags Mernagh is a Director of Leicester City Football Club, and is responsible for all Infrastructure and Estates. Mags has worked in the Leisure Industry for more than 25 years, and her experience ranges from building Leisure facilities and Sports Arena’s, to running major music venues, sports venues, managing events, membership and hospitality programmes . Mags’ current focus is on 2 key projects; Leicester City’s new training ground – due to complete in June 2020, and the Master Plan for the extension to the King Power Stadium and surrounding sites.

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