Slow ticket sales for soccer’s upcoming Women’s World Cup in co-host New Zealand are worrying organisers with Kiwis swerving the opportunity of seeing all pool games of defending champions the United States being played on local soil.
AFP reports a fresh batch of tickets will be released Tuesday for all 64 matches in Australia and New Zealand, days after one tournament official admitted having sleepless nights about their take-up.
The World Cup kicks off on July 20 when New Zealand host Norway in Auckland, the same day Australia play the Republic of Ireland in Sydney on the other side of the Tasman Sea.
New Zealand will stage a total of 29 matches, including all pool games of the U.S. defending champions.
The U.S. won the last tournament in France under the leadership of Megan Rapinoe and are looking to become the first team in the competition’s history to win the tournament three times in a row.
FLASHBACK: U.S. Women’s National Soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe refused to sing the national anthem during Tuesday’s World Cup game in France. https://t.co/nLuayPX1Vz
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 7, 2019
Despite almost half the games being in New Zealand, of the 930,000 tickets sold so far, only 220,000 have been sold in the rugby-mad South Pacific nation, FIFA told AFP earlier this week.
“If anything is keeping me awake at night, it’s ensuring that New Zealanders maximise this opportunity,” the tournament’s chief operating officer in New Zealand, Jane Patterson, told local media.
Patterson has described the women’s soccer World Cup as a chance for “New Zealanders to get out and see the best in the world, from all over the world, do what they do in their own backyard.”
AFP reports she is confident “Kiwis will get behind this global event.”
“We’ve priced tickets to be affordable, starting at NZ$20 (US$12) for adults and $10 for children -– cheaper than going to the movies,” she told Radio New Zealand.
New Zealand Football official Paula Hansen has predicted that some stadiums will eventually sell out.
Women’s World Cup 2023 takes place in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
It is the first Women’s World Cup to feature 32 teams competing in eight groups