Christchurch host city for FIFA’s second-biggest tournament
15 August 2013
Christchurch confirmed as host city for FIFA’s second-biggest tournament
With just under two years until kickoff in the first match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, FIFA and the New Zealand Local Organising Committee (LOC) have confirmed that Christchurch will play a significant role in the football tournament.
New Zealand will host 24 national teams, with the tournament including 52 matches, and will run from Saturday 30 May until Saturday 20 June 2015. Christchurch will host nine matches including a round of 16 clash, a quarter-final, and one of the two semi-finals. All of the Christchurch matches will be played at AMI Stadium in Addington.
Mayor Bob Parker says, “Coupled with the recent allocation of the ICC Cricket World Cup matches to Christchurch, this announcement ensures that 2015 will be a banner year for Canterbury sports fans. We’re honoured to have this chance to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and to show the world that Christchurch has the capacity to host a global event of this scale.
“The Christchurch City Council has had a lot of help to bring this world-class event to the city – we extend our thanks to the Christchurch Stadium Trust, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism, Mainland Football, The Canterbury Community Trust and Christchurch Airport for their tremendous support.”
Jim Anderton, Chair of the Christchurch Stadium Trust, says the opportunity to host major sporting events for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of Canterbury is one of the reasons it was decided to have a temporary stadium in Christchurch.
“The Christchurch Stadium Trust Board is pleased to be associated with all those who have worked so hard to win the opportunity to hold a number of the Under 20 World Cup games in Christchurch. Being chosen by FIFA to host a number of key games in this highly-regarded world football event is a sign that Christchurch and Canterbury sport is on the comeback trail.”
The tournament will be broadcast to over 100 countries and a global television audience of more than 170 million people, providing exposure for the tournament, the host cities, and New Zealand on a massive scale. It is estimated more than 7000 overseas fans will pour into New Zealand for the tournament and to support their teams.
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism Chief Executive Tim Hunter says the news is another major boost for the city’s tourism industry.
“Hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup is not only going to bring many visitors to our city in the off-peak winter season, but just as importantly it is going to give us amazing exposure worldwide. With the rebuild of the city ramping up, our ability to host major events is continually improving. Over the next three months we have a further five hotel properties reopening in Christchurch which will significantly boost accommodation capacity.”
Mike Coggan, Chief Executive of Mainland Football, says the FIFA U-20 World Cup will arguably be the biggest football event ever in New Zealand.
“The benefits for the city of Christchurch and its football community will be immense,” Mr Coggan says. “We’ll be seeing many of the world’s next crop of superstars on show in less than two years, and we expect the legacy of this event to be reflected in a growth in membership and popularity for local football.”
The Canterbury Community Trust used its Event Development Fund to contribute toward Christchurch’s bid with a $50,000 donation and $75,000 underwrite fund.
Trust Chair Tracey Chambers comments that, “The bid to host FIFA U-20 World Cup matches will provide a wonderful opportunity to help the community engage with their city and give them events to look forward to.”
Dave Beeche, CEO FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015, is excited to have Christchurch playing a key role in the tournament.
“We hope that the significant role Christchurch will play within this tournament will assist with the local community in its rebuilding process and support making Christchurch a great place to live.”
Christchurch Airport CEO Jim Boult says the airport company is proud to support the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Christchurch. “We are the gateway to the South Island and to the scenery overseas visitors want to see. We sponsor initiatives and events like this one which bring visitors to the city – ideally, through the airport.”