The Matilda’s opening game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been moved across Sydney from the 42,500-seat Allianz Stadium to the 83,500-seat Accor stadium.
This is despite the Allianz Stadium costing $828 million and having only been opened to the public in August last year. The Accor Stadium, meanwhile, is the old Olympic stadium and had been slated to only host knockout matches, including the final on 20 August.
“It’s very exciting news,” FA CEO James Johnson said.
“The move from Sydney Football Stadium to Stadium Australia is big for Australian football and highlights the confidence which we have in the Matildas to draw a huge crowd for the first match of the tournament in Australia.”
The growing popularity of the Matildas and a strong interest from Sydney’s sizeable Irish expat population has been attributed as the reason for the tickets selling out so quickly. Tickets already purchased for the match at the Allianz Stadium will remain valid and those who cannot make it to the changed venue will be refunded, FIFA said.
Attendance records could be broken at the tournament, with the previous highest attendance for a women’s football match in Australia set in 2021, when 36,109 watched the Matildas take on USA.
A sell-out would see the Matildas enter the top five of women’s football attendances of all time (a Champions League tie between Barcelona and Wolfsburg at the Camp Nou holds the record of 91,648), and go third on the World Cup list, behind two matches at the 1999 tournament which both attracted 90,185 at the Rose Bowl.