The biggest sporting event New Zealand has ever hosted is getting underway, with the Football Ferns facing Norway at the opening match at Eden Park tomorrow night.
“Tomorrow’s game marks the beginning of the month-long tournament being co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. Co-hosting an event of this magnitude will generate huge social and economic benefits for New Zealand and leave a lasting legacy for football and women’s sport in this country, and our communities,” said Sport and Recreation Minister, Grant Robertson.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the largest women’s sporting event on the planet and this year’s event will be the biggest yet, with 32 teams taking part. The tournament is expected to captivate an audience of up to two billion people across the globe.”
The Government has invested $55 million into hosting the tournament, including $25 million for upgrading 30 match and training venues and related facilities.
A further $10 million to leverage the tournament to create lasting benefits, the Minister said.
“The Football Ferns have had a strong lead-up to the opening match, first with their victory over Vietnam and then a narrow 0 -1 loss to Italy. With a loud, proud crowd cheering them on against World No. 12 Norway, it’s going to be a memorable opener,” Mr Robertson said.
“There are now limited tickets available for this match, with just over 40,000 New Zealanders and international visitors heading along to watch the opening ceremony and match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
“New Zealand warmly welcomes the thousands of international visitors and football fans arriving on our shores for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. With 29 matches in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin, it’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many New Zealanders to experience a top-tier FIFA World Cup event.
“I encourage New Zealanders to get behind the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and head along to a match. This is an amazing opportunity to watch some of the world’s best football players in action. Go the Football Ferns!”