Australia, New Zealand promise record-breaking Women’s World Cup

Football Federation Australia (FFA) and New Zealand Federation (NZF) have unveiled their venue vision for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and Auckland’s Eden Park proposed to stage the final and opening match of the tournament, respectively.

FIFA last week confirmed that it had received four bids to host the 2023 edition of its showpiece women’s national team tournament. As well as the joint bid from Australia and New Zealand, FIFA received individual bids from Colombia, Brazil and Japan.

FFA and NZF have announced more details of their bid, which, if successful, would result in the first-ever co-confederation-hosted World Cup. It would also be the first Women’s World Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific region.

A minimum of five stadia from each country would be used to host the tournament, with up 100 training sites available to competing teams across Australia and New Zealand. The bid has also promised to break attendance levels for the Women’s World Cup, with an aggregate attendance of 1.5 million, averaging 24,000 fans at each match. Ticket prices would start at $5 (£3.79/€4.48), with all tickets to be less than $90.

Eden Park, which would host the opening game, is primarily used for rugby and cricket matches but has hosted football fixtures in the past.

ANZ Stadium, also known as Stadium Australia, is based at the Sydney Olympic Park and is set to undergoing extensive redevelopment work. Like Eden Park, it is mainly used for rugby and cricket but does have experience of hosting football matches.

NZF president and FIFA Council member Johanna Wood said: “Every aspect of the tournament will be technically excellent with our world-class infrastructure, effortless and exceptional delivery style, and decades-long experience of hosting major events. That’s why we believe we can guarantee FIFA a tournament like no other.

“Moving the dial for women’s football across our confederations and beyond sits at the very heart of our vision for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, as well as leading the way for gender equity and creating strong role models for women in leadership. We stand ready As One to deliver FIFA the most successful Women’s World Cup ever, a ground-breaking tournament whose impact will reverberate across the globe.”

Meanwhile, the Japan Football Association has included eight stadia in its bid for the tournament, including Sapporo Dome, Saitama Stadium and Kobe Misaki Stadium. Seven of the eight stadia are football-specific, with the recently-opened National Stadium – constructed for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo – also forming part of the plan.

The proposal from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) includes matches in eight cities, all of which hosted matches during the 2014 men’s World Cup: Manaus, Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre. The final would be held at the iconic Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Colombia has put forward Bogotá, Cali, Barranquilla, Medellín, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Armenia, Pereira, Manizales and Cúcuta as host cities. All proposed stadia are currently in “prime condition”, with the final proposed to be held at Bogotá’s Nemesio Camacho El Campin.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will mark the first edition of the tournament to feature 32 teams. FIFA will announce the winning bid at its meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia next June.

Image: Adam.J.W.C.