Football fans from all over the globe will be heading to New Zealand in 2023 after it was announced overnight that the joint Australia-New Zealand bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup was successful.
The decision to award the 32-team tournament to the Australia-New Zealand bid was made by FIFA in the early hours of this morning, with the move providing a huge boost for the Covid-19 hit visitor economy and events industries in both countries.
Around 1.5 million attendees were expected to attend the tournament, which was scheduled to be staged in July and August 2023 across the two host countries, according to WellingtonNZ chief executive, John Allen.
New Zealand would host the opening game of the tournament at Auckland’s Eden Park, while a final decision on the allocation of all matches was still to be made. Five Kiwi venues were in the running for matches, including Eden Park, Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, Sky Stadium in Wellington, Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch, and Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Allen added that the significance of winning the hosting rights for what was one of the largest sporting tournaments in the world could not be underestimated.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
It would be the first time the event would be held in the Southern Hemisphere.
Auckland mayor, Phil Goff said it was expected to generate 130,000 visitor nights for the city and boost the region’s economy by approximately $60m, and added that FIFA’s endorsement reflected Auckland’s reputation for holding world-class major events.
“Our track record of hosting top international events speaks for itself and to have our national team and the world’s best footballers in our backyard come 2023 will be fantastic,” he said.
“Today’s announcement supports our vision to be the events capital of New Zealand. Major events generated more than $400m for our regional economy between 2011 and 2018 and in the medium- and longer-term will play an important role in our city’s economic recovery.”
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development said the global reach through international broadcast was expected to be higher than the last event, when FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 was watched by 1.12 billion viewers.
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