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A-League Women to benefit from major stadium showcase

Featured image credit: Frigginawesomeimontv/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has confirmed the venue plan for the opening round of the 2023-24 A-League Women season, with matches to be played at larger stadiums to capitalise on the growing interest in the sport following the success of the Women’s World Cup.

Australia reached the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup, which the country co-hosted alongside New Zealand. The tournament concluded on Sunday as 75,784 fans attended the final between Spain and England at Sydney’s Accor Stadium.

The same attendance was posted for Australia’s opening match against the Republic of Ireland, which set a new record for a women’s football match in the country.

APL is now looking to tap into the growing appetite for women’s football in Australia and New Zealand by showcasing the domestic league at bigger venues. The A-League Women season gets underway on the weekend of October 14-15, with a “standalone celebration of women’s football” planned.

The 42,500-capacity Allianz Stadium (pictured) will host the derby match between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers on October 14. The match will feature Cortnee Vine, the Sydney FC player who scored the winning penalty for Australia in its quarter-final victory against France at the World Cup.

The brand-new Central Coast Mariners team will host the Newcastle Jets at the 20,000-capacity Industree Group Stadium. A-League Women’s only New Zealand-based team, Wellington Phoenix, will play its first game of the season against Melbourne City at the 34,500-capacity Sky Stadium, which was also used during the Women’s World Cup.

Elsewhere, Perth Glory will host Western United at Macedonia Park and Adelaide United will welcome Canberra United to Coopers Stadium. The venue for Melbourne Victory vs Brisbane Roar is yet to be confirmed.

For the first time, the opening round of the A-League Women season will take place a week before the men’s league.

A-Leagues commissioner Nick Garcia said: “We are delighted to announce these first-round fixtures as we set our sights on record-breaking domestic attendances for the opening weekend. We know there is a huge appetite for football in Australia and New Zealand right now, so if you loved the last month, then come and be part of what will be a very special experience.

“Our work to capitalise on the FIFA Women’s World Cup began more than two years ago, we’ve since added three more teams, and we start this season with a full home-and-away season, every game available live and free, and a blockbuster round of opening games.”