The venues for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand have been announced today (Thursday), with Auckland’s Eden Park to stage the opening match and Sydney’s Stadium Australia to host the final.
The tournament will take place in 10 stadiums across nine host cities, with Australia and New Zealand to host one semi-final match each.
Other host cities include Adelaide (Hindmarsh Stadium), Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium), Dunedin (Forsyth Barr Stadium), Hamilton (Waikato Stadium), Melbourne (AAMI Park), Perth (HBF Park) and Wellington (Sky Stadium). Sydney’s Allianz Stadium will also be a host venue alongside Stadium Australia (formerly ANZ Stadium).
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will mark the first edition of the tournament to feature 32 teams. The full match schedule for the tournament will be announced later this year.
Australia and New Zealand were awarded co-hosting rights for the tournament in June last year. FIFA selected the joint bid ahead of a proposal from Colombia.
The bid’s stadium proposal included 13 venue options in 12 host cities and these have now been whittled down to 10 stadiums across nine cities. The candidates to miss out were Newcastle, Launceston and Christchurch.
FIFA said the host cities and stadiums were selected following a thorough and comprehensive process over the last eight months. FIFA worked with the two host associations, which included a series of virtual workshops and one-to-one workshops with all cities and stadiums, as well as an analysis of venue capabilities.
Football Australia president Chris Nikou said: “The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the biggest sporting event on Australian soil since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, showcasing Australia and New Zealand to a global audience of over one billion people.
“Today’s announcement of the host cities and match venues for the tournament is a major milestone in the build-up to the next FIFA Women’s World Cup – a tournament that will unite nations, inspire generations, and provide our diverse and multicultural game with the perfect platform to grow over the coming years.”
The announcement means that Eden Park (pictured) will host three World Cups within the next three years. The women’s Rugby World Cup will be held later this year before the Women’s Cricket World Cup takes place in 2022.
Nick Sautner, chief executive of Eden Park, said: “For Eden Park, and Auckland, to be selected for this momentous event highlights the mana that our stadium holds on the world stage.
“We are committed to delivering a commercially successful tournament, record-breaking crowds, global broadcast figures, long-term participation growth and a genuine legacy as we strive for gender equality in sport. Eden Park’s purpose-built facilities, and capacity of 48,000, makes securing events of this calibre achievable for New Zealand.
“The tournament would not be possible without the funding support from both governments in New Zealand and Australia to ensure that our facilities meet tournament requirements as we deliver the single biggest sporting event ever held in Aotearoa.
“We look forward to working with Auckland Unlimited, Auckland Council and central government to deliver the required venue upgrades which include stadium field lighting, gender appropriate changing room renovations, bilingual signage installation, elevator and CCTV upgrades, installation of a replay screen and turnstile replacement.”
Johanna Wood, president of New Zealand Football, added: “We have and will continue to work with our partners to deliver the biggest, most exciting and best tournament to date. The legacy of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 starts now and will go on to leave a lasting impression on women’s sport across both countries and the wider Asia-Pacific region.”
Image: Eden Park