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Representatives from State Farm Arena accept the 2018 IAVM Venue Excellence Award.

State Farm Arena’s first year since completing renovations in October has been an award-winning one.

The International Association of Venue Managers nodded to the Atlanta Hawks’ home venue with the 2018 Venue Excellence Award at the 94th VenueConnect Conference and Trade Show in Chicago. The Venue Excellence Awards recognize five venues, across all sectors within the membership, which demonstrate excellence in the management and operation of public assembly venues.

State Farm Arena opened in October 2018 after undergoing a nearly $200 million renovation. The arena hired more than 900 new employees, created seven new premium spaces — including a TopGolf suite — and partnered with Levy Restaurants to create a new concessions experience, which received the top score of all NBA teams in season ticket member satisfaction. gaining the arena’s LEED Gold Certification.

“Receiving the VEA is a fantastic testament to the hard work and dedication across our entire organization to creating a new world-class building,” Brett Stefansson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of State Farm Arena, said in a statement. “The opening of the arena last October was just the beginning, as we are constantly striving to provide our guests and employees with an experience that sets the industry standard for excellence.”

According to a press release, judges looked at four main criteria: operational excellence, team-building/professional development, safety and security and service to the community, in determining the winners.

“The 2019 award recipients represent a diverse group of our members and member venues,” Brad Mayne, IAVM President and CEO, said in a statement. “Each winner has shown the importance of giving back to our industry, their communities, and the public to whom they serve. I applaud all of our 2019 winners for their outstanding service and the strides they continue to make to ensure that what they do on a daily basis is meaningful to those they serve.”

Taylor Denman is a reporter born and raised in Gwinnett County. He came back home to seize the rare opportunity of telling stories about the county in which he grew up.