Graham Arnold will take an inexperienced Socceroos squad to face South Korea in next month’s friendly in Busan as preparations for 2022 World Cup qualifying ramp up.
On the 29th of October, the FFA officially launched a bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. One thing always talked about is which stadiums will be in the bid.
Today, I look at the potential stadiums that could be used. Before I get into it, some of you may already know which stadiums I am about to list as I previously wrote in a comment on Mary Konstantopoulos’ article “It’s time for all of us to #Get Onside”.
Final, semi-final, round of 16, group stage: ANZ Stadium (After redevelopment)
ANZ Stadium, built for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, will be redeveloped into a rectangular stadium and will have a retractable roof with construction starting in late-2019, and finishing in mid-2021.
This redevelopment will make it the largest rectangular stadium in Australia, and the perfect candidate for the final. The capacity of the stadium will most likely drop to 75,000 during the redevelopment.
The stadium that will host the 2019 final in France fits around 59,000 people. But I think Australia can do better and pack out ANZ for the final.
The biggest stadium in Sydney should always get the nod.
Semi-final, quarter-final, round of 16, group stage: Suncorp Stadium
Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane is currently the largest strictly rectangular stadium in the country. It is home to the A-League’s Brisbane Roar and recently hosted that 1-1 thriller between the Socceroos and South Korea.
Suncorp is no stranger to hosting world cups, with it hosting the men and women’s rugby league world cup finals earlier this year. It can accommodate over 52,000 people, while the second largest venue in France 2019 fits about 49,000 people. This is a good match and should give Brisbane the games it deserves.
Quarter-final, round of 16, group stage: McDonald Jones Stadium
The home of the Newcastle Jets is a regular host of women’s football and would be a suitable candidate to be a quarter-final venue.
The people in the Hunter showed they can bring big crowds after packing in out for the A-League final earlier this year, so they should get great crowds in 2023.
The stadium can accommodate about 33,000 people but does have one issue; the hills on the ends of the ground are probably not suitable for a FIFA World Cup.
Like Suncorp and ANZ Stadium, it was a host of the 2015 Asian cup.
Quarter-final, round of 16, group stage: AAMI Park
AAMI Park, opened in 2010, is the only large rectangular stadium in Melbourne, so it is kind of a ‘must-have’ in the bid. It is the home of Melbourne City and most games of Melbourne Victory, and was a venue in the 2015 Asian cup.
The stadium can accommodate about 30,000 people while being regarded as one of those atmospheric venues that are awesome when they are full. It has hosted Matildas matches in recent times.
Once again, AAMI Park is kind of a must have for the bid.
Quarter-final, round of 16, group stage: North Queensland Stadium
North Queensland Stadium is an exciting, under-construction stadium in Townsville. It will accommodate around 25,000 people.
A stadium in North Queensland would take this event up the top of the country and possible get people from the Northern Territory to attend. I believe it will have hills at one end of the ground which, once again, may not be suitable. The design looks a bit like Western Sydney Stadium.
Round of 16, group stage: GIO Stadium
I was considering GIO Stadium for the quarter-final, but I overlooked it because it is an older stadium. Nevertheless, a stadium in Canberra would be needed, for the simple fact that if this is in Australia, we should have a stadium in our capital city.
Canberra Stadium fits about 25,000 people and is capable of drawing big crowds, but not really for football.
I anticipate GIO Stadium should attract big crowds, as it did for the 2015 Asian Cup. It will most likely be the home of Canberra & Capital Region if it wins an A-League licence.
Round of 16, group stage: Campbelltown Stadium (After redevelopment)
Now this is an interesting one. If the South-West Sydney/United for Macarthur wins a bid for an A-League licence, Campbelltown Stadium will be upgraded to an 18,000 all seater stadium which could possibly have an extra 2,000 temporary seats for the world cup.
It will be a boutique stadium in a great location.
This means that most people in Sydney should be able to get to a venue which I will go further into soon. SWS/UFM is expected to win a licence so this stadium should be pretty fresh by 2023.
Round of 16, group stage: NIB Stadium
NIB Stadium or HBF Park, as it will be renamed next year, is another of the small boutique stadiums. It accommodates about 20,000 people and is Perth’s only major rectangular stadium.
We need NIB Stadium in the bid because this is a nationwide event, so we need venues to be used nationwide.
It hosted the Matildas versus Thailand game earlier this year and is the home of the Perth Glory.
It is a very atmospheric stadium and could possibly attract people from Malaysia or Singapore to attend.
Group stage: Coopers Stadium
The final venue in this bid, Adelaide’s only major rectangular stadium would complete this nation wide event.
A lot of people regard Coopers Stadium as the best stadium in the A-League and I without a doubt agree.
It fits about 20,000 and an extra 4,000 temporary seats could be added, similar to what they did in the 2000 Olympics. Venues in every state, apart from the Northern Territory and Tasmania, is what we need for this tournament.
We need to make sure that there are no ovals. We want people to be able to see properly and we don’t want to be playing on rock hard cricket pitches.
I was considering stadiums like Central Coast Stadium, however I did not see why the North Coast needed two stadiums. I thought about CBUS Super Stadium but they rarely get good attendances on the Gold Coast. I also considered North Hobart Oval, but I don’t think it’s up to world cup standard.
Most people in the country should be able to get to a game. The only people that will find it hard to get to a game would be people up the north end of W, people in Papua New Guinea or Indonesia could possibly even go to games in Townsville.
I am, so why don’t you #GetOnside?