The Wellington Phoenix will kick-off the 2023-24 Liberty A-League at Sky Stadium in Wellington.
Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have revealed the opening round fixtures for the new season, ahead of the full draw announcement later this week.
The women’s A-League will get underway a week before the men, with APL asking clubs to take matches to bigger venues to try and capitalise on the success of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The Phoenix have answered the call and will take their round one match against Melbourne City to Sky Stadium on Sunday, October 15, with the kick-off time to be confirmed.
It is a repeat of the Nix’s opening round fixture last November when 5,213 fans watched the first game of professional women’s football in Aotearoa. It is a record attendance for a standalone regular season A-League women’s match and was the third biggest crowd of the year.
Phoenix general manager David Dome expects all attendance records to fall this season.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup has shown New Zealanders and Australians want to watch top level sport, regardless of gender,” Dome said.
“The crowds throughout the tournament were simply incredible and it was amazing to see Sky Stadium fill for a number of matches.
“I hope a number of those fans who watched women’s football for the first time get behind our players and cheer on the Phoenix this season.”
New head coach Paul Temple has applauded the decision to make the Liberty A-League the centrepiece to start the new season.
“It’s really exciting to have a standalone game at Sky Stadium and for the A-League women’s competition to take centre stage for that week.
“I think it’s only right off the back of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“The World Cup has really changed perceptions of women’s football and women’s sport and hopefully it will have a positive impact on the A-League.
“We want to be a club that has the best attendance for the A-League women’s competition. That’s the challenge to the public in Wellington and to people outside of the capital to come for the weekend, take in the game and get behind the team.
“It’d be an awesome to see Sky Stadium packed like it was for the World Cup games and bring that atmosphere to the A-League and support to the Phoenix.”
Wellington Phoenix women’s memberships are currently on sale for just $99.