Government reveals $19 million plan to upgrade facilities ahead of Women’s World Cup

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Thirty sports venues will be upgraded ahead of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, using about $19 million of investment from the Government.

The upgrades will include pitch, lighting and facility enhancements, including the provision of gender-neutral changing facilities.

The plans were announced on Friday (September 23) by Sports Minister Grant Robertson at a lunchtime function in Porirua.

The announcement said the venues and local councils would also contribute to the costs of upgrades.

The World Cup will be co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia from July 20 to August 20, 2023.

The venues to benefit include:

  • The four stadia to host tournament games — Auckland’s Eden Park, FMG Waikato Stadium, Sky Stadium Wellington and the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
  • The 21 venues being offered to participating teams as ‘Team Base Camps’ in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Dunedin, Rotorua, Napier, Palmerston North, Tauranga and Christchurch. Of these, 16 are expected to be used.

Here’s 1News report on how the money will help clubs such as Mangere United:

Where the money will be spent

Auckland will receive $8.6 million, comprising $6.4 million from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and $2.2 million from Sport New Zealand which will be allocated via New Zealand Football.

Wellington region will get $6 million, Dunedin $1.6 million and Hamilton will receive $1.2 million.

Other cities hosting Team Base Camps will benefit — these include Christchurch ($325,000), Palmerston North ($325,000), Napier ($300,000), and Tauranga ($115,000).

Wellington’s Sky Stadium has been allocated $4.1 million, Auckland’s Eden Park $2.4 million, Hamilton’s FMG Waikato Stadium ($220,000) and Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium ($135,000).

‘A lasting legacy for football and women’s sport’

Robertson said:

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the largest women’s sporting event on the planet. Hosting an event of this magnitude will generate significant social and economic benefits for Aotearoa New Zealand and leave a lasting legacy for football and women’s sport in this country

“These upgrades are critical to ensure the success of the tournament, but will also benefit local communities, football clubs and many different sporting codes that use these facilities, which is another great reason to invest in them.

“They will also put us in a stronger position when bidding to host major international events in the future.”

Gender-neutral changing rooms

The $19 million includes $5 million through Sport New Zealand for gender-neutral changing room upgrades at some venues.

This appears to be part of an ongoing $15 million programme to upgrade facilities to cater for all genders, and Auckland’s Eden Park were converted ahead of the hosting of cricket’s Women’s World Cup.

Here’s 1News’ story about the new-look changing rooms at Eden Park:

Days to start of Women’s World Cup

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