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Slow Women's WC ticket sales prompt concern in New Zealand

AFP . Wellington
02 Jun 2023 15:08:46 | Update: 02 Jun 2023 16:41:32
Slow Women's WC ticket sales prompt concern in New Zealand
— AFP File Photo

FIFA on Friday announced the release of about 250,000 more tickets for the Women's World Cup, amid concerns about sales for matches in New Zealand.

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.

New Zealand will stage a total of 29 matches, including all pool games of defending champions the United States.

Despite almost half the games being in New Zealand, of the 930,000 tickets sold so far, only 220,000 have been sold in New Zealand, 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 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".

She is confident that "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.

With less than seven weeks to go until the World Cup, governing body FIFA is in a standoff with five European nations over television rights.

FIFA has threatened a blackout in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain unless broadcasters there significantly raise their offers to televise the competition.

Because of time differences with Australia and New Zealand, matches will take place outside primetime hours in western Europe.