PARIS, FRANCE – TQL Stadium has earned another recognition as one of the top sports venues in the world. UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has awarded TQL Stadium with the prestigious Prix Versailles, the world prize for architecture and design, in the sports category.
The Prix Versailles is an original program with the aim of fostering better interaction between the economy and culture. It underlines the role economic agents across sectors can play to enhance, embellish and improve living environments.
“We’re honored to receive this prestigious award from UNESCO,” said Carl H. Lindner III, FC Cincinnati Co-CEO and Controlling Owner. “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."
The honor is awarded annually to the world’s top project in four major categories (Airports, Campuses, Passenger Stations, Sports) based upon innovation, creativity, reflection of local heritage, ecological efficiency, and the values of social interaction and participation which the United Nations holds in high regard.
"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."
The official announcement, which took place at UNESCO Headquarters on December 19, saw TQL Stadium as just one of two U.S. projects to win a 2022 World Title, and one of just three projects in the U.S. named to the initial World Selection group among the four major categories.
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).
The Prix Versailles was chaired this year by philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky (France), and the World Judges Panel also included architects Thom Mayne (United States), Lu Wenyu (China) and Thomas Vonier (United States), designer Jasper Morrison (United Kingdom), disc jockey Charlotte de Witte (Belgium), filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad - France) and mountaineer Samina Baig (Pakistan).
The award comes after TQL Stadium has already been recognized this year as the World Football Summit Best Venue of 2022 and as the ASBA Single Field Facility of the Year.
About TQL Stadium
TQL Stadium, home of FC Cincinnati, is one of the most ambitious soccer-specific stadiums in not only North America, but the world. Critically-acclaimed firm Populous designed an innovative and forward-thinking stadium that is one of the largest soccer-specific facilities in Major League Soccer. TQL Stadium has been named Best Venue at the 2022 World Football Summit in Madrid and the 2022 Prix Versailles World Title in the Sports Category in Paris, France.
The stadium has five team locker rooms, including a comprehensive team suite for FC Cincinnati that features a dressing room, coach’s office, lounge, equipment storage and the Mercy Health Center of Excellence for the team’s medical and game day fitness needs. Within the 18 months of the stadium’s completion, TQL Stadium has featured both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams, including the USMNT’s FIFA World Cup Qualification match vs. Mexico, and a concert by legendary rock band, The Who.
The closest seats are within 15 feet of the pitch at the $250 million, privately funded stadium. The design includes 53 traditional suites and 4,500 premium seats throughout four premium club spaces. FC Cincinnati’s supporters’ section, The Bailey, has grown to be more than 3,100 strong and loom over opponents at a 34-degree angle at the stadium’s north end. A 360-degree canopy roof covers every seat in TQL Stadium, but still allows sufficient sun in to grow a natural grass field.
About FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati is a Major League Soccer team playing at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally founded in 2015 by Lindner III and current president Jeff Berding, FCC began play in the United Soccer League (USL) in 2016. FCC entered MLS as the 24th team in 2019. The club’s wide and diverse ownership group is led by controlling owner Carl H. Lindner III; as well as managing owners Meg Whitman and Dr. Griff Harsh; Scott Farmer; and George Joseph.
FC Cincinnati opened the club’s privately funded, 26,000-seat soccer-specific TQL Stadium in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati in 2021, a venue which has won numerous global awards including the World Football Summit Best Venue 2022 in Madrid and the 2022 Prix Versailles World Title in the Sports Category in Paris, France.
The club earned its first MLS Cup Playoffs berth in 2022, advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinal as the no. 5 seed. The club won the 2018 USL Regular-Season Championship in record-setting fashion and earned postseason berths in all three of its USL seasons. In 2017, FC Cincinnati also advanced to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a run that included victories over two MLS squads.