The possibility for Launceston to host three group games of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is a massive opportunity, Northern Tasmania Development Corporation says.
Australia and New Zealand were awarded the next Women’s World Cup this morning and Launceston’s UTas Stadium is on the list of potential venues, which would put Northern Tasmania on the international stage.
NTDC chief executive Mark Baker said the world game was Tasmania’s number one sport and the exposure and excitement generated by playing on the best pitch in Australia would be a tremendous economic and social win for the region.
“Having experienced first-hand the excitement of a World Cup, I can say there is nothing like the first kick-off in a World Cup or the first time the host side finds the back of the net,” he said.
“Launceston is perfectly placed to take advantage of this opportunity with UTas Stadium regarded as the best playing surface in the nation.”
Mr Baker said the venue also had World Cup credentials, hosting Namibia and Romania at the Rugby World Cup in front of a capacity crowd in 2003.
“And that was a game most Tasmanians knew nothing about. With soccer the number one sport in the state and participation increasing rapidly, particularly with females, this is an opportunity that will inspire generations to come.”
Mr Baker also noted the potential exposure Northern Tasmania could benefit from by hosting group games and the flow-on economic returns.
“The 2019 Women’s World Cup in France was a watershed moment for the sport, with more than 1.12 billion viewers tuning into the broadcast. Just imagine what Tasmania can do with that size audience.”
“The timing is also promising as our economy seeks to rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.”