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$18 million projection for Waikato ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand (FIFA image)

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, February 9, 2023

It has been a busy sporting season for Waikato with Covid restrictions easing off and life getting back to normal. The fans have been spoilt for choice after a long hiatus of 2 years with the Seven Series, Cricket action at Seddon park and the highlight on the calendar is the FIFA Women’s World Cup matches scheduled this year, that promise to keep the spirits high.

The reasons for celebration though,  are more than just sports. An estimated $18 million will be pumped into the Waikato region during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The spending is projected to come from both international and domestic visitors throughout the main tournament.

Waikato Stadium is set to host five matches between 20 July – 20 August 2023 and it is estimated that the region will see 12,500 unique international visitors spend $13.7 million in the region. In addition to it, these matches will see many domestic visitors, who will contribute $3.9 million to the host region’s economy.

Hamilton City is ready for all visitors (Photo Supplied)

A boost to the economy

Hamilton City Council’s Deputy Chief Executive, Sean Murray, said that while the independent assessment suggests a high rate of economic payback for Hamilton and the surrounding Waikato region, the social impact and city activation benefits cannot be overlooked.

He said, “The whole city will be involved in some way and Hamilton will have a unique opportunity to present itself to New Zealand and international visitors alike.”

The Hamilton City Council will evaluate the event impacts leading up to it and during the event itself.

Mr Murray said, “Although we are happy with these projections, they don’t include the highly anticipated FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Play-Off Tournament we are hosting later this month. We anticipate this will also generate spending in the city.”

Industries that are expected to directly benefit include accommodation, transport, and security along with the hospitality, trade and catering sectors.

Nicola Greenwell, Chief Executive of Hamilton and Waikato Tourism said the opportunities that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ brings to the city, region and tourism sector are exciting.

She said, “While our tourism and businesses will certainly benefit from those visiting for the tournament, and at what is traditionally a quieter time for the sector, the opportunities for our community extend into hospitality, retail and services such as supermarkets and petrol stations.”

Draw results for the cup (FIFA image)

Details about the World Cup

Australia and New Zealand will co-host the ninth FIFA Women’s World Cup. It will be the largest women’s sporting event ever held globally. TV viewership alone is forecast to be two billion compared to 1.2 billion in France in 2019.

This year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup will be a historic event on multiple levels. It is the first edition in the Southern Hemisphere, the first to be co-hosted by two confederations (AFC and OFC), and the first one to feature 32 teams.

A statement by New Zealand Football said, “Australia-New Zealand promise to unlock the untapped football potential of the Asia-Pacific region, deliver record-breaking crowds and long-term participation growth and bring football together ‘As One’ in 2023 to celebrate the women’s game.”

Waikato Stadium is ready for Action

Adding to its history of hosting FIFA matches, Waikato stadium will host 5 group games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

The NZ Football Ferns will take to the field against Portugal in the first FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Play-Off Tournament match at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on 17 February 2023.

Located a short walk from Hamilton’s city centre, Waikato stadium will see matches that include Japan, Norway, Argentina and Sweden.

With a gross capacity of more than 25,000 spectators, Waikato stadium will surely be buzzing with team chants, cheers and applause.

Being the perfect hosts

Ms Greenwell said, “The benefit from hosting this event is fantastic and provides the opportunity to create a legacy for our city and region – for example, the people watching on the other side of the world may be inspired to visit. Also, if we host them well and offer a great experience in our region, those visitors attending the event will head home and share their stories with friends and family, increasing our international profile and the likelihood of return and future visitation.”

Calculations of visitor numbers and expected visitor spending are consistent with Federal, State and Regional Government approved economic impact methodologies used to measure the impact of events in Australia and New Zealand.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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