Australia's Women's World Cup opener moved to bigger venue
Australia's Women's World Cup opener against Ireland has been moved to a larger stadium amid high demand for tickets.
Australia’s opener was originally set to be played at Sydney’s new Allianz Stadium, which seats 42,500, but it has been shifted to Stadium Australia, which seats more than 82,000. Stadium Australia, the former Olympic stadium, will also host the World Cup final on Aug. 20.
The tournament, which is cohosted by Australia and New Zealand, opens on July 20 with a match between New Zealand and Norway at Eden Park in Auckland. Australia's match against Ireland is set for later in the day.
"It’s going to be an incredible start for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year. ... Two absolutely massive matches, and we’re expecting over 100,000 fans to fill those two stadiums and take on that momentous moment, which will be the opening day of the Women’s World Cup,” said Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s chief women’s football officer.
Football Australia advocated for the move.
"The move from Sydney Football Stadium to Stadium Australia is big for Australian football and highlights the confidence which we have in the CommBank Matildas to draw a huge crowd for the first match of the tournament in Australia,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said. CommBank sponsors Australia's women.
The Matildas look to break their attendance record of 36,109 fans, which was set in 2021 at an exhibition between Australia and the United States.
Additional tickets for the Matildas' first game will go on sale Friday, FIFA said. Fans who already have tickets will be moved to seats in the new venue.
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Anne M. Peterson, The Associated Press