The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has announced its inaugural Unite Round, with Sydney to stage all 12 A-Leagues matches during the second weekend of January.
Between Friday January 12 and Sunday January 14, Allianz Stadium, CommBank Stadium and Leichhardt Oval will host all Isuzu UTE A-League and Liberty A-League matches, as the A-Leagues become the first leagues to celebrate a full men’s and women’s round in a single city.
The Unite Round is being introduced for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons, as the APL’s partnership with Destination NSW (DNSW) enters its second year. As part of the updated partnership, the hosting rights for the Grand Finals will revert to the traditional format this season, with the highest placed qualifiers from the semi-finals to host the season deciders.
The Wellington Phoenix women will play the Central Coast Mariners at Leichhardt Oval on Friday 12 January, before the Phoenix men take on Perth Glory at CommBank on Sunday 14 January.
For the men’s Isuzu UTE A-League the Unite Round will be an additional match making it a 27-game regular season. As a result, the Phoenix men’s 12th round match against Central Coast Mariners, originally scheduled for Sunday 14 January, will be rescheduled to a yet to be confirmed midweek date.
The Unite Round will use the existing women’s Liberty A-League fixtures, keeping the season as 22 games. It means the Phoenix women’s team will now play five matches Porirua Park, with their game against the Mariners moving to Sydney. All Wellington Phoenix members will be provided access to the match at Leichhardt Oval.
APL CEO Danny Townsend says the Unite Round will be an unprecedented celebration of football.
“With the women’s domestic attendance record already broken twice on the first day of this season, we are looking forward to welcoming A-Leagues fans, old and new, to experience our leagues,” Townsend said.
“We have worked closely with our clubs and fans to ensure that there are suitable constructive mechanisms for the voices of fans to be heard.
“Many of the resulting conversations have included the hosting of the Grand Finals, and the strong sentiments around that, and we thank DNSW and Premier Minns for their partnership in creating a truly inclusive experience for our game.”
Tickets for A-Leagues ‘Unite Round’ will go on sale from Monday 6 November.