New Zealand: Wellington Regional Stadium with impressive attendance at Women's World Cup

source:; author: Mateusz Osmola

New Zealand: Wellington Regional Stadium with impressive attendance at Women's World Cup The just concluded Women's World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand, was a great success in many ways. Most notable was the high attendance in the stands, which was at an all-time high in the history of the event. One of the championship arenas was the Wellington Regional Stadium, which we will introduce in this article.


World Cup’s new format

In July 2019, FIFA president Gianni Infantino proposed expanding the FIFA Women's World Cup from 24 to 32 teams, starting with the 2023 edition, and doubling the tournament's prize pool. The proposal come after the success of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and the previous edition of the tournament in 2015, which set an attendance record for all FIFA competitions except the men's World Cup after the number of teams was increased from 16 to 24.

The expansion of the tournament to include eight additional teams gave more member associations a greater chance of qualifying for the final tournament. This fostered the growing reach and professionalisation of the women's game. In the same month, the FIFA Council unanimously decided to expand the tournament to 32 teams, with eight groups of four teams each.

Sky Stadium© Hamish (cc: by-nd)

On June 25, 2020. Australia and New Zealand won the bid to host the FIFA Women's World Cup. The decision came after a vote by the FIFA Council, with the winning offer receiving 22 votes and Colombia receiving 13. Neither country had previously hosted a senior FIFA tournament. This was the first Women's World Cup to be held in multiple countries, and only the second World Cup tournament to do so following the 2002 FIFA World Cup, staged in Japan and South Korea.

Record breaking attendance

On March 31, 2021, FIFA announced the final host cities and venue selections. Five cities and six stadiums were used in Australia, along with four cities and stadiums in New Zealand. Eden Park, Auckland hosted New Zealand's opening match, in which the Football Ferns beat Norway 1-0. The game set a new record for a football match in New Zealand, with 42,137 fans in attendance. Stadium Australia, Sydney hosted Australia's opening match. In this game the Matildas defeated Ireland 1-0. Sports fans can discover the best online betting and leading bookmaker sites in New Zealand. Lang Park, Brisbane, hosted the third place match on August 19. Stadium Australia hosted the final, which took place a day later.

The entire tournament was watched from the stands by 1,978,274 spectators, which is almost double that of the last championship, held in France in 2019, when the total number of fans was 1,131,312. The average attendance at the event in Australia and New Zealand was 30,911, with an incredible 75,784 spectators in the stands at Stadium Australia for all five matches, including the final. The World Champions were Spain, who beat England 1:0 in the grand final. Gianni Infantino praised the 'transformational' staging of the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, adding that generating revenue from the tournament will help break even.

Sky Stadium©

And how did Wellington Regional Stadium perform?

Wellington Regional Stadium, known commercially as Sky Stadium through naming rights, can seat 36 000 in its auditorium. Although built in New Zealand, the facility is one of Australia's A-League venues. It was commissioned in January 2000. The arena serves as the capital's primary venue for major events. Sky Stadium replaced the former Athletic Park, which was in despair at the end of the 20th century.

Since 2000 a huge list of major events has been held here. Thanks to the shape it’s capable of hosting matches of rugby, football, Australian football and cricket, assuring constant sporting use. Not only by local teams, but also national sides and international sporting events. Concerts of world-famous vocalists have also taken place here, with names of AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, The Police and Ozzy Osbourne among others.

The stadium hosted nine matches for the just concluded 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, which attracted a total of 231 262 spectators, an average of 25,696 fans per match. On average, the stadium was more than 70% full during the tournament. A lot of fans turned up for New Zealand's match against the Philippines on 25 July. The home team lost 0:1 and 32,357 spectators watched the contest from the stands. But more fans gathered for the knockout phase, which featured two matches in Wellington.

Sky Stadium©

The round of 16 clash between Japan and Norway (3-1), was watched by 33,042 fans, while the quarter final between Spain and the Netherlands (2-1) attracted 32,201 spectators. The tournament in Australia and New Zealand was certainly an excellent showcase for women's football and we can expect great thrills and more record breaking in the future.