New Zealand: Auckland gets A-League expansion franchise

source:; author: Mateusz Osmola

New Zealand: Auckland gets A-League expansion franchise Football’s Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has announced the award of a full A-League licence to US businessman Bill Foley. The new teams will be based in Auckland, New Zealand.


New A-League team in Auckland

The men's A-League team will join the competition in the 2024-25 season, while the women's ALeague team will join a year later. The A-League currently features one team from New Zealand, being the Wellington Phoenix, who play at Sky Stadium.

Foley is the founder and owner of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights, as well as the founder of Black Knight Football Club, which owns Premier League team AFC Bournemouth and has a significant investment in Ligue 1 outfit FC Lorient. New Zealander Nick Becker has been appointed chief executive of the Auckland-based club. The club's official name will be announced at a later date. Until that happens these new online casinos can make the wait more pleasant.

Foley said: It’s an honour to bring a top football club to Auckland. Building a championship team from expansion has been my most exhilarating professional achievement, and I aim to do the same for the fans of New Zealand and particularly the community on the north island. It’s a special place and an area that I know will embrace this team.

Auckland Waterfront StadiumAuckland Waterfront Stadium

Where will the new franchise play?

It has not been confirmed where the new club will play its matches, but Foley told New Zealand news outlet Stuff that he would be interested in taking part in talks about a potential new stadium in Auckland.

A few proposals had been put forward for a major stadium project in the city. One of them focuses on a new facility called Auckland Waterfront Stadium and another on upgrading the existing Eden Park. The initial vision of the first one, revealed in 2018, centred on a NZ$1.8bn project that would include a 50,000-seat, fully enclosed stadium.

Auckland Waterfront StadiumAuckland Waterfront Stadium

Their work's outcome ensures that the auditorium remains embedded in the seabed, while also providing a semi-open seaside concourse around it, protected by a spacious, potentially iconic canopy. The proposed stadium also lacks major issues of the 2006 proposal, ensuring that stadium scale isn't too imposing.

Slightly downsized from the initial vision, the new bowl will accommodate 50,000 people. It's designed, however, with downsizing in mind for smaller events and temporary expansion to as many as 65,000 people. Crowd circulation is considered efficient and access to the stadium is provided by its proximity to the largest public transport hub in the city. An underground car park would also be located within the waterfront.

The Stuff report added that Go Media Stadium Mt Smart in Auckland (pictured) is likely to be the home of the A-League Men's team in its first season. The stadium has a capacity of 30 000 spectators and is mainly used for rugby and rugby league matches.

Eden Park© Tim Bray (cc: by-sa) | Eden Park