Communities across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will benefit from upgrades to 11 training venues in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
More than $18 million is being invested towards upgrades of pitches, lighting, clubroom facilities and changing rooms and will be the main legacy for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as a host city.
The funding for the training venue upgrades comes from a variety of sources, including Auckland Council, central Government and club contributions.
New Zealand Football and Sport New Zealand, on behalf of central Government, have contributed $2.2 million of this total for Auckland as part of a national approach to ensure venues create a gender-neutral environment for the tournament and community sport delivery thereafter.
Richard Clarke, Director of Arts, Entertainment & Events for Tātaki Auckland Unlimited says these upgrades are an example of how the tournament will drive benefits for the region.
“We want visitors to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland to have a positive experience, while ensuring we also champion lasting impacts for the next generation of athletes.
“The training venue upgrades will be the main enduring legacy for Auckland as a host city of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, delivering venues that will provide an equitable, international-standard experience for the FIFA athletes while also providing an ongoing benefit to our communities and future generations using those same facilities,” he says.
Dr Claudia Wyss, Director Customer & Community Services for Auckland Council says that as well as delivering tournament compliance for the global tournament, these upgrades will have ongoing benefit for the communities, clubs and sporting codes that use these facilities.
“These upgrades will increase field capacity for players right across Auckland, offering greater benefits for clubs, and helping people be more active, more often.
“The improved facilities also have the potential to significantly increase the visibility and profile of women’s football,” she says.
Outcomes of the training venue upgrades include:
• Five training venues will be floodlit for the first time, creating over 40 hours per week of additional sports field capacity in Auckland
• Competition lighting upgrades in all 11 venues will enable flexible match scheduling for more matches to take place
• New and improved facilities will include individual showers, privacy screens, cubicle toilets, baby change tables, accessible bathrooms and gender-neutral changing rooms for both players and officials
The 11 training venues are Bay City Park, Fred Taylor Park, Keith Hay Park, Māngere Centre Park, McLennan Park, Michaels Avenue Reserve, North Harbour Stadium, Olympic Park, Seddon Fields,Shepherds Park and Waitākere Stadium.
With a strong regional spread, these venues in north, west, east and south of Auckland were all shortlisted in-line with FIFA’s process for team training venue selection.
While Eden Park will be used for all matches in Auckland, up to 11 venues will be used as training sites for the duration of the tournament.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is taking place from 20 July to 20 August next year and for the first time, 32 teams will compete for the coveted trophy.
These upgrades are critical to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 being hosted in Auckland, including the Play-Off Tournament taking place from 17-23 February to determine the final three qualifying teams.
Total venue investment
Commitment to date from Auckland Council*, Central Government**, and club contributions
- Bay City Park $2.1 million
- Fred Taylor Park $1.2 million
- Keith Hay Park $1.4 million
- Māngere Centre Park $2 million
- McLennan Park $1.6 million
- Michaels Avenue Reserve $2 million
- North Harbour Stadium $300,000
- Olympic Park $2.4 million
- Seddon Fields $1.9 million
- Shepherds Park $3.2 million
- Waitākere Stadium $160,000
TOTAL $18.3 million
* A total of $2.7 million committed to training venue upgrades from the 2022 Sport and Recreation Facilities Investment Fund
**A total of $6.2 million committed to training venue upgrades from central Government via MBIE and Sport New Zealand (via New Zealand Football)
Photo credit @Phototek