Should Australia’s bid be successful to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which stadium would be best-suited to host the final? Here are five options.
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
The oldest “top-tier” rectangular stadium in the country is under redevelopment. The NSW Government is turning Allianz into a world class venue catering for around 45,000 fans, including a roof that covers all seated areas.
The redevelopment is expected to be completed by 2022 and would be perfect given it is purpose built. The only negative is that parking at Allianz has been complicated in the past, hopefully the NSW Government is going to include proper parking sites.
Optus Stadium, Perth
One of the newest stadiums in the country, Optus boasts a capacity of 60,000, and based on the attendance (53,341) at the 2015 final in Canada between the United States and Japan, this would be suitable.
As a city, Perth also hasn’t hosted many crucial football matches, so this could also present an opportunity to grow the game in Western Australia. The international friendly between the Glory and English Premier League giants Chelsea in July 2018 drew a crowd of 55,522. WA is relatively untested, but the appetite for football appears to be there.
Optus Stadium is, of course, oval-shaped and multi-purpose. While the facilities are state-of-the-art, it’s not one for the football purists.
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The multi-purpose stadium in Sydney has hosted many exhibition matches, including the Socceroos v Manchester United in 1999 which saw 78,000 spectators show up. In 2005, 82,698 people attended the second leg of the Oceania qualifier (Australia against Uruguay) for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
In terms of transportation, ANZ is better as Olympic Park station is directly in front which makes travelling from Central station (the heart of Sydney’s city) very convenient.
The biggest stadium in the country. Although it’s not purpose built, if Australia made it through to the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in 2023, this would likely be a sellout.
However, if the home nation fails to make it that far, the MCG would prove cavernous, and the organisers would be lucky to fill it halfway. Plus, the oval shape is ill-suited for football.
AAMI Park, Melbourne
AAMI Park is purpose-built for football, providing perhaps the most intimate atmosphere in the country. The one downside is its limited capacity of 30,050. The Swan St venue would, however, be used for World Cup matches throughout the tournament.
Western Sydney Stadium (Wanderland)
Another stadium that’s being developed as we speak is the Wanderers new home, which will see a layout based off the best traditional football stadiums across Europe. It’s got a lot of positives, including the fact that it’s scheduled to open this year.
The only downside is the capacity of 30,000. A similar story to AAMI Park – both fantastic purpose-built venue, just not big enough to hold a FIFA Women’s World Cup final. A group stage game however, will be a different story! The atmosphere would be electric.