This Stadium Was Not Named World's Best, But Probably Should Have Been
What a croc.
Optus Stadium in Perth was recently named the world's most beautiful stadium, and on Friday, its CEO Mike McKenna accepted the award at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The award was part of the 2019 Prix Versailles World Architectural and Design Awards -- which included sporting venues for the first time this year.
Anyone who's been there knows that Optus Stadium deserves the accolades. Fans love its bold appearance, ease of transport access, excellent sight-lines and amazing atmosphere.
Or as the secretary General of Prix Versailles, Jérôme Gouadain, put it:
"The stadium's innovative nature, ecological roots and attention to landscaping, as well as the quality of its interiors and the emphasis placed on local culture, drawing from the ancestral history of the location, were some of the decisive factors which inspired the judges' decision."
So hooray for Optus Stadium and hooray for Perth.
But you know what? If you want to talk about bloody great architecture and bloody great stadiums, we reckon the world's best stadium is this beauty in Turkey.
Yes, this is the Bursa Büyükşehir Belediye Stadyumu, better known as simply as "Timsah Arena", which means Crocodile Arena in Turkish.
The stadium was so-named, and so-designed, because the football local team in the city of Bursa is called the Bursasport Crocodiles.
Fun facts: Bursasport is one of only six clubs who've ever won the top league in Turkey. The club was also home to Aziz Behich, the accomplished Turkey-based Aussie defender who captained the Socceroos in their win over Kuwait this week.
"When it’s packed out and pumping, it’s pretty difficult to explain, you just get goosebumps when you walk out on the pitch," Behich previously told 10 daily.
Yep, it's a heck of a place. But what would we know? The French have the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and that makes them authorities on architectural matters, apparently.
There does appear to be a bit of a consensus that Optus Stadium is a lovely addition to the city -- not to mention a decent place to catch a game of footy or cricket. And yes, we'll mention this is now the 35th award for Optus Stadium in its 20 months of operation.
So while, granted, Optus Stadium may be more traditionally beautiful than a croc-shaped arena -- the Turks nail quirk and get our our vote.