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Report hails impact of Women’s World Cup on New Zealand

Featured image credit: Eden Park

Featured image credit: Eden Park

An impact evaluation report released by the New Zealand government has revealed that this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup delivered a net economic benefit of NZ$109.5m (£53.9m/€62.5m/$68.2m) for the country.

New Zealand co-hosted the tournament alongside Australia from July 20 to August 20. The report has identified a benefit-cost ratio of 1.34 for New Zealand, meaning that for every dollar put in, the country saw a return of NZ$1.34.

The economic benefit far exceeded expectations, with a net benefit of NZ$46.3m having been predicted back in 2019.

Over 740,000 tickets were issued across the 29 matches hosted in New Zealand, while there were around 170,000 visits to FIFA Fan Festival sites in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin. There were 258,527 unique attendees at matches, comprising 226,270 New Zealanders and 32,257 international visitors.

The event also attracted 27,000 international visitors to New Zealand, generating 312,008 visitor nights, with an average stay of 11.6 nights per person and collectively spending NZ$80.4m. The report noted that not all of the aforementioned 32,257 international match-goers were attracted to New Zealand by the event.

Kylie Hawker-Green, New Zealand Major Events manager, said: “While we know the on-field action captivated the nation, with more than 60% of Kiwis watching a match, we’re thrilled the report shows the economic returns were even greater than forecast for New Zealand.

“These economic results build on New Zealand’s successful track record of hosting large-scale events and continue to show the benefits both on and off the field of hosting women’s sport events.”

She added: “The event adds to the trifecta of successful Women’s World Cups hosted in New Zealand over the past two years, with rugby and cricket in 2022 and now football in 2023. Hosting these three events was a deliberate strategy to elevate and showcase women’s sport in New Zealand.

“The knowledge and experience gained from hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has enhanced New Zealand’s major event capacity and capability, and the success of the event will enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a safe and capable host for global events.”

Auckland’s Eden Park, which hosted nine matches during the Women’s World Cup, welcomed the economic impact evaluation report. Eden Park attracted 350,000 fans to its matches.

Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner said: “The legacy, both on and off the field, will be enduring and will be remembered for years to come. I would like to thank our local community for embracing the tournament and supporting our resource consent application to ensure these benefits could be realised.”