Due to the high demand for tickets, the opening match of the Women's World Cup between Australia and Ireland has been relocated to a bigger stadium. The match was initially planned to take place at the 42,500-seater Allianz Stadium in Sydney but has been shifted to Stadium Australia, which can accommodate over 82,000 people. This stadium, which was previously used for the Olympics, will also host the World Cup final on August 20th.
The tournament, which is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, opens on July 20 with a match between New Zealand and Norway at Eden Park in Auckland. Australia's match against Ireland is set for later in the day.
"It's going to be an incredible start for the FIFA Women's World Cup this year. ... Two absolutely massive matches, and we're expecting over 100,000 fans to fill those two stadiums and take on that momentous moment, which will be the opening day of the Women's World Cup," said Sarai Bareman, FIFA's chief women's football officer.
Football Australia advocated for the move. "The move from Sydney Football Stadium to Stadium Australia is big for Australian football and highlights the confidence which we have in the CommBank Matildas to draw a huge crowd for the first match of the tournament in Australia,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said. CommBank sponsors Australia's women. The Matildas look to break their attendance record of 36,109 fans, which was set in 2021 at an exhibition between Australia and the United States.
FIFA announced that extra tickets for the Matildas' opening game will be available for purchase on Friday. Existing ticket holders will be relocated to new seating arrangements at the event's new location.