Adelaide celebrates designation as Women’s World Cup host

After months of intense lobbying, Adelaide and South Australia was rewarded on Thursday when the city was announced as a host for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.  

Hindmarsh Stadium was amongst the ten host venues revealed for the women’s footballing showcase by FIFA on Thursday morning; joining two venues in Sydney, one in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne as well as four stretched across New Zealand.

A determination of exactly what fixtures will be staged at which venues will have to wait until closer to the tournament’s commencement, but Auckland’s Eden Park has been tapped to host its opening game, while Sydney’s Stadium Australia will provide the stage for the final. 

Though she spent the past W-League season at Melbourne City, Mount Gambier-born Matildas’ defender Jenna McCormick has strong ties to Adelaide: spending 36 games with Adelaide United across four seasons and making just her second appearance in a Matildas’ shirt in the city during a friendly against Chile.  

In a previous life, she was also a two-time AFLW Premiership Player with the Adelaide Crows. 

While she may have been standing in front of AAMI Park on Thursday as part of Melbourne’s celebrations of being named as a host venue, she expressed her happiness that the City of Churches had also been tapped as a host.  

“For Adelaide, [I’m] really, really happy and pleased for them,” she said. “They’ve been putting in a lot of efforts behind the scenes to be a host city so certainly pleased that they’re going to be able to host games, whatever that may be.

“We saw record numbers at the Adelaide United game the other week at Coopers Stadium, so we know that the support is there for the community.

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“It’s just a matter of the media and the government getting behind [and throwing] support out there to the general public to allow them to go out and experience it. 

“We haven’t had a tournament like this since we had some games there in the Olympics in 2000. So, 23 years later we get another tournament like that. 

“I’m really pleased for them and they’ll do a good job of hosting it. 

“You want to be involved in this sort of tournament. It’s once in a lifetime, once in a career. 

“[I’ll] be working really hard to be able to secure a spot for that tournament, [and will] cross that bridge in terms of emotions when you get to it in terms of playing in front of family and friends – because it would certainly be overwhelming and honouring experience to be able to do that.

“Every step towards then, every day, will count towards hopefully being able to be involved.” 

The designation of Hindmarsh Stadium as a venue for the showcase event – which is shaping as the biggest sporting event to hit Australia since the 2000 Sydney Olympics – comes in the wake of a concerted push behind footballing and governmental authorities in the state to secure the honour. 

These efforts were highlighted by Adelaide United’s W-League side – who have increased investment in their women’s program in recent years – setting a new record for a standalone W-League crowd when they brought 5,159 fans through the gates of Hindmarsh Stadium to watch them down Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 back on March 21.

“[Hindmarsh] stadium is already one of the best purpose-built venues for football in this country and that will only be enhanced following the completion of the pending redevelopment which is set to commence in the coming months,” United CEO Nathan Kosmina said. 

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“The passion for women’s football in our state is evident and was on full display during our W-League game at the venue in front of a record-breaking crowd nearly two weeks ago. 

“We anticipate the revamp will be extremely beneficial to the South Australian football community and facilitate the return of international football to the venue beyond 2023.”

Thursday’s news was also welcomed by the South Australian State Government. 

“This will be one of the biggest sporting events to be played on Australian soil – and Adelaide will be a big part of it,” South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said.

“Not only is this going to promote female soccer across our state – it’s going to be a massive opportunity to showcase South Australia to a global television audience of more than one billion people.

“We now await further advice from FIFA on the allocation of matches across the two host countries.”

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