Wellington is rejoicing at today’s announcement that the joint Australia-New Zealand bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ was successful.
The 32-team tournament is scheduled to be staged in July and August 2023 with Wellington hosting a number of games.
The decision to award the tournament to the Australia-New Zealand bid was made by FIFA in the early hours of this morning (26 June). It marks the first time a FIFA World Cup will be held across two footballing confederations (Australia are in the Asia Federation, New Zealand the Oceania Federation).
WellingtonNZ Chief Executive John Allen says the significance of winning the hosting rights for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, one of the largest sporting tournaments in the world, can’t be underestimated.
“The tournament is still three years away but around 1.5 million attendees are expected across the two host countries.
“The last FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament held in France in 2019 attracted a combined television audience of 1.12 billion. There will also be significant numbers of media travelling with teams from football-mad countries.
“They will all get to see some of the world’s greatest athletes playing the beautiful game in our beautiful city. I can’t wait.”
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster is a big football fan and says the city will pull out all the stops to ensure players and fans have a wonderful time while in the capital.
“We are internationally recognised as a city which knows how to welcome visitors and ensure they make the most of what the city has to offer. The thousands of football fans who make their way to Wellington will be well looked after.
“Wellington has a proud footballing tradition which will be enhanced by being a host city for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. It reinforces the fact that Wellington is New Zealand’s home of football.
“It’s also extremely pleasing to see female football is gaining the recognition it deserves in New Zealand. It’s long overdue.”
Sky Stadium Chief Executive Shane Harmon says the stadium has hosted some of the biggest football matches in New Zealand history.
“Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ is a tremendous honour and one the team here are very excited about.
“It’s also fantastic news for the events industry in both countries. The sector has been severely impacted by COVID19 and this event will hopefully create many jobs for those working in the sector.”
Home to the A-League’s Wellington Phoenix, Sky Stadium has also hosted the last three FIFA Intercontinental play-offs, the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015. In 2018 the Stadium hosted the largest crowd for a women’s football match in New Zealand when the Football Ferns took on Japan.