Wellington Regional Stadium Trust has confirmed the completion of venue upgrades ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM, kicking off in Wellington / Te Whanganui-a-Tara on Friday 21 July.
Announced in September 2022, Wellington Regional Stadium was confirmed as recipient of a total of $4.1m of government and New Zealand Football funding to assist in venue upgrades ahead of the tournament.
These upgrades include a full pitch replacement, upgraded tower and bowl rim LED lighting, and gender-neutral changing facilities. Additional infrastructure improvements include 40 new entry turnstiles which will allow for a much smoother and faster entry to the venue for all ticket types, including mobile tickets.
Following the Ed Sheeran concert on 2 February, which required the full playing surface to be covered for a period of 10 days, the Stadium turf team along with Mexteds Sports Turf and HG Turf removed and replaced 10,000 square meters of turf. The project involved 12 months of planning and took 14 days to complete.
FIFA’s Women’s World Cup 2023™ tournament lighting standards meant that upgrades to the existing floodlighting system were required. A total of 392 metal halide fittings have been replaced with 404 LED light fittings. The new LED floodlighting system will provide better illumination and uniformity and improve floodlighting efficiency from 748kw to 606kw. This is estimated to provide energy savings of 23%.
The project group consisted of lighting designers, engineers, manufacturers, surveyors, abseilers and the installation team. The first floodlight was decommissioned in January and the new floodlighting system fully functional prior to the Crusaders match on 3 June.
The changing rooms have historically catered to the male sports teams. Upgrades including changes from communal showers to individual cubicles and an increase in toilet cubicles. Changing rooms have also been repainted and refloored.
"The FIFA Women's World Cup is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase the best of women's football to the world," said Wellington Regional Stadium CEO Shane Harmon. "These upgrades will ensure that the Stadium is ready to host the world's best female footballers, while leaving a lasting legacy for our region."
The Stadium will host nine matches during the tournament, including seven group matches, a round of 16 match and a quarterfinal match.
The upgrades are part of a $19 million investment by the New Zealand government to upgrade sporting facilities across the country ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup. The investment will also support upgrades at 29 other venues, including Eden Park, Waikato Stadium, and Dunedin Stadium, and training venues around the country.
“To have financial assistance from central government to make these improvements and upgrades ahead of the tournament, means the venue will remain world class for all codes and players in the years ahead,” says Stadium Trust CEO Shane Harmon.
The FIFA Women's World Cup is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors to New Zealand, and it is estimated to generate more than $200 million in economic activity. The tournament will also be a major boost for women's football in New Zealand, and it is expected to inspire a new generation of female footballers.
The FIFA Women's World Cup will be held in New Zealand and Australia from 20 July to 20 August 2023.
For further information, please contact:
Alex Bargh, Marketing Manager, Sky Stadium: 0273 200 217