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Australia and New Zealand release details of Women’s World Cup bid

Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Youth and Sport with Johanna Wood, New Zealand Football President and Chris Nikou, FFA chairman with Australia and New Zealand players Stephanie Catley and Rebekah Stott during the announcement of Australia and New Zealand's Joint Bid to host the FIFA Women's 2023 World Cup, at AAMI Park on December 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Wayne Taylor/Getty Images)

The football federations of Australia and New Zealand have published details of their bid to host the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup, including a promise of a record total attendance of 1.5 million.

The bid would involve a minimum of five stadiums in each country, and up to 13 stadiums in total across 12 host cities. Ticket prices would start at US$5 and the most expensive tickets would be US$90. The attendance promise translates into an average of 24,000 per match.

The opening game and ceremony would take place at Auckland’s Eden Park, and the final at Sydney’s redeveloped, 70,000-capacity Stadium Australia.

The bidders say the event would underpin Australia’s ambition to have a 50:50 gender split in registered players by 2027, and a 7 per cent annual growth rate in female registered players in New Zealand from 2023 to 2027. The tournament would also coincide with an expansion in the number of clubs in Australia’s women’s league, the W-League.

The Australia and New Zealand bid was one of four submitted in time for Friday’s Fifa deadline, along with Japan, Colombia and Brazil.

Other features of the Australia and New Zealand bid include:

  • Four groups located in each country during the Group Stage of the tournament. This would minimise travel distances. From the Round of 16, travel between Australia and New Zealand would take place from the east coast of Australia only.
  • Australia hosting five of the eight Round-of-16 matches, three of four quarter-finals, one semi-final, the third-place play-off, and the final
  • The Aotea Centre or the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland as the potential venue for the tournament draw
  • The Primary International Broadcast Centre located at Sydney Olympic Park; a secondary IBC at New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland
  • Innovative match scheduling to deliver broadcast content in windows that work for established football markets in Europe, Africa and the Americas
  • Earmarking the development of an International Centre for Women’s Football in Australia, serving the Asia-Pacific region through elite training and playing opportunities

Commenting on the bid, Johanna Wood, president of New Zealand Football and a Fifa Council member, said “Our hosting concept will put the greatest players in the women’s game at the centre of everything we do to ensure they can perform at their very best.

“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.”

Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou said: “We believe that we have put together a really special, historic and unique bid that will showcase woman’s football like never before. It really is ground-breaking. Our nations sit in the geographical centre of two Confederations that have huge ‘new frontier’ untapped football potential.

“Unlocking this potential sits at the core of our vision for 2023 and we are perfectly positioned to boost the commercial value of Fifa Women’s World Cup, while also guaranteeing strong financial and legacy returns for Fifa.”