Ticket sales for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand have set a new record, one day out from the start of tournament.
Close to 1.4 million tickets have been purchased for the 64 matches running until 20 August, surpassing the record total for the tournament eight years ago in Canada.
The Matildas’ three group matches are effectively sold out, although the Fifa ticketing website shows “low availability” – mostly wheelchair access tickets – for the 27 July match against Nigeria in Brisbane.
Flag bearers walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge during a pre-tournament event
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Few tickets remain for England’s three group matches. Interest has also been strong for the United States’ games, though several categories are available for the reigning world champions’ game against Portugal on 1 August at the 43,217-capacity Eden Park in Auckland.
Ticket allocations for all five matches at Stadium Australia in Sydney, including the final on 20 August have been all but exhausted. The former Olympic stadium at Homebush holds just over 80,000 fans, but Fifa said on Wednesday its capacity for the tournament is 75,784.
The 2015 tournament in Canada sold 1,353,506 tickets, setting a new record at the time.
Smaller stadiums at the 2019 tournament in France meant only 1.3 million tickets were available. Fifa claimed over 1.2 million were sold, but other counts have the attendance number closer to 1.1 million.
Both the French and Canadian tournaments involved 52 matches, while the expanded draw in 2023 means tickets to 64 matches are available; 29 are in New Zealand and 35 in Australia.
20,000 free tickets to matches in New Zealand were issued last week in response to slow ticket sales, and prominent Kiwis including former prime minister Jacinda Ardern have used their profile to urge people to attend the matches.
Fifa’s chief women’s football officer, Sarai Bareman, said on Tuesday more than 1.5 million people are expected to attend the tournament across the two countries. At that stage, 1.3 million tickets had been sold, including 350,000 in New Zealand.
“That is a huge uptake for New Zealanders for a major sporting event,” she said.