The Matildas have touched down in Sydney ahead of their highly anticipated Women’s World Cup semifinal clash against England, as the NSW government confirms two stadiums will be opened as live sites for the upcoming match.
- Sydney Football Stadium and the Western Sydney Stadium will open as live sites
- Ticketing information will be confirmed on Monday
- The Opera House and major landmarks will again light up in green and gold
Dozens of fans greeted the team at Sydney airport on Sunday afternoon, a day after their historic win against France in the quarterfinal.
The Matildas defeated Les Bleus 7-6 in a dramatic sudden-death penalty shootout at Brisbane stadium on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters at the airport, Matildas captain Sam Kerr said the side had not celebrated their win, saying “we’ve got work to do”.
The blockbuster semifinal will take place at Stadium Australia in Olympic Park on Wednesday night in front of a sold out crowd of 80,000 people.
The state government has announced the Sydney Football Stadium in Moore Park and the Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta will open as live sites to the public for the match.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said the government has applied for the rights and access to screen the match at both stadiums.
“This is an opportunity to get behind the national side,” he said.
“To the people of New South Wales, you’ll never get an opportunity in our lifetime to have such a massive sporting event on our shores, so don’t miss it.
“Get behind the Matildas.”
Ticketing information will be confirmed on Monday.
The premier said the site outside the stadium at Homebush had experienced some problems and “spreading” the crowds across Sydney would make it easier to manage and alleviate the pressure on public transport.
“Last night [Saturday] the two games were separated by a couple of hours, so the Matilda’s crowd could come in at five o’clock at night even though it was an extended game,” he said.
“The clash between England and Colombia was over a couple of hours later, so we can manage crowds and public transport a little bit easier, but we can’t do that on the same night if you’re expecting 80,000 in the stadium and thousands outside as well.”
The new live sites are in addition to existing venues across Sydney, including Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, which has welcomed more than 200,000 attendees since the tournament began.
The Sydney Opera House sails will also be illuminated green and gold on Wednesday night, along with other landmarks.
Saturday’s match drew the biggest TV audience of the year, with figures from Seven West Media showing an estimated average audience during the game of 4.17 million.
There were 3.69 million viewers tuned in to watch the match live on broadcast TV.
A further 472,000 viewers watched the game on Seven’s streaming platform 7plus.
“Their heroic performances have seen stadiums and fan sites full and television records broken,” NSW Sport Minister Steve Kamper said.
“One stadium is simply not enough, that’s why we are opening up the Sydney Football Stadium and Western Sydney Stadium, so that NSW can cheer along the Matildas together.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has thrown his support behind a national public holiday if the Matildas win the tournament.
Mr Minns said he believed a public holiday was a “good idea”.
“I’m conscious that there are a couple of games to go, but we are in the midst of logistics and contingencies in relation to that,” he said.
“Obviously, we’re talking to the FFA [Football Federation Australia], we will speak to other premiers when national cabinet meets later this week, but we’ve got two games to go before then.”
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-13/sydney-stadiums-live-site-matildas-v-england-world-cup-semifinal/102724644 Two Sydney stadiums open as live sites for Matildas World Cup semifinal clash against England