Football Federation Australia [FFA] and New Zealand Football [NZF] have unveiled their vision to host the first ever FIFA Women’s World CupTM in the Asia-Pacific region in 2023, in what would also be the first ever co-confederation hosted FIFA World CupTM.
The plans, which would see the tournament’s opening game take place in Auckland’s Eden Park, with Sydney’s 70,000 capacity redeveloped Stadium Australia hosting the final, were unveiled following the submission of bid books to FIFA last week.
A minimum of five stadiums in each country would host the tournament with up to 100 training sites available to competing teams across the two nations.
As part of its plan to host a ground-breaking FIFA Women’s World CupTM, the Australia New Zealand bid is also promising to break attendance levels for the tournament, and leave a profound legacy in capacity building through the 2023 Female Leadership Development Program across the Asia-Pacific region.
Commenting on the joint bid, Johanna Wood, President of New Zealand Football and 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.
“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,” Wood added.
Subject to FIFA’s final approval, highlights of the Australia New Zealand tournament hosting concept include:
- A minimum of five stadiums in each host country, located along Australia’s coastline and across New Zealand - up to 13 stadiums in 12 host cities
- Ensuring record attendance of 1.5 million, averaging 24,000 fans at each game
- Ticket prices starting at just USD 5 with all match tickets priced below USD 90
- Official opening match and ceremony at Auckland’s Eden Park, while a standalone match on Day 2 will inaugurate the tournament in Australia
- Four groups will be located in each country during the Group Stage
- The Group Stage would be evenly split, while Australia will host five of eight Round of 16 matches, three of four Quarter Finals, a Semi-Final, the 3rd Place Play-Off and Final
- The Aotea Centre or the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland as the potential venue for the 2023 FWWC draw
- Primary International Broadcast Centre located at Sydney Olympic Park; 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
- During the Group Stage, team travel distances will be minimised by clustering 4 groups in each individual country. From the Round of 16, travel between Australia and New Zealand would take place from the east coast of Australia only
Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM would also underpin Australia’s ambition to deliver a 50/50 gender split in registered players by 2027, and a 7% annual growth in female registered players in New Zealand in the same timeframe. In addition, the tournament would underpin an expansion in the number of clubs in Australia’s W-League and an extension to the playing season.
FFA Chairman, Mr 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.
Nikou continued, “We believe that we have the right mix of innovation, vision and hosting experience to deliver FIFA a remarkable FIFA Women’s World Cup and be a partner FIFA can trust every step of the way.”
Matildas Captain, Sam Kerr said “I’m so excited that our two nations have come together to form such an incredible bid. A two-country model to host the Women’s World Cup will be a game-changer and I know, through my own experience, that Australia and New Zealand have world class facilities to ensure players will be able to perform at their very best.
“And as a direct result of hosting the tournament, Football Federation Australia will realise many incredible legacies. The impact of those will last for many years after 2023,” she said.
Football Ferns Captain, Ali Riley added “The fact that literally millions of global citizens have chosen to make their homes in our nations means we can deliver every competing team a true ‘home away from home’ experience.
“If FIFA grants us the honour of hosting the tournament, I have no doubt that Australia New Zealand will not only be the best attended Women’s World Cup ever, but also the most welcoming.”
FIFA will announce the host(s) of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World CupTM at its meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2020.