Christchurch is among five New Zealand cities that are part of a joint Australia-New Zealand bid for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
The world cup will involve 32 teams and will see 64 games played over 31 days.
The joint Australia-New Zealand bid for the tournament was submitted to FIFA on Friday 13 December after a huge amount of trans-Tasman work by New Zealand Football, Football Federation Australia, central and local government, and events teams across the country.
Christchurch is one of five New Zealand cities expected to host matches should the bid be successful. Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin are also expected to host a number of matches.
“What an amazing opportunity this bid presents for New Zealand, and for our city of Ōtautahi Christchurch, to host the world and the unifying sport of football,” said Karena Finnie, ChristchurchNZ Head of Major and Business Events.
“We welcome the chance to host matches here and look forward to the diversity of visitors it will bring to our city.
“Should we be selected to host this major international event, we look forward to working with New Zealand Football, New Zealand Major Events, our counterparts in Australia, and of course FIFA.”
If successful in securing the 2023 event, it is forecast to bring in upwards of $100m to the New Zealand economy, with an estimated $13m in visitor spend coming directly into Christchurch. It is also anticipated to generate nearly 50,000 visitor nights in the city.
It also represents an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the city to the world. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France was attended by more than one million people, and broadcast matches reached more than one billion worldwide.
“New Zealand Football and Football Federation Australia are excited to be joining together ‘As One’ to bid for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023,” said Andrew Pragnell, CEO at New Zealand Football.
“The impact of hosting such a prestigious and popular event on our shores would be massive – not just in a sporting sense but for the country as a whole. We’re very excited about this opportunity, particularly the chance to bring a world-class event to our regions and cities.”
Mr Pragnell said New Zealand Football and Football Federation Australia worked constructively and positively to reach a split of games and events across host cities.
FIFA officials will work with New Zealand Football and Football Federation Australia on clarifying and confirming any details within the bid, which will include venue inspections in each host city.