One Question Quiz
Big crowds are coming to the Fifa Women’s World Cup in July (Photo: Supplied)
Big crowds are coming to the Fifa Women’s World Cup in July (Photo: Supplied)

SportsApril 5, 2023

‘It’s first come, first served’: Why next Tuesday is a big day for football fans

Big crowds are coming to the Fifa Women’s World Cup in July (Photo: Supplied)
Big crowds are coming to the Fifa Women’s World Cup in July (Photo: Supplied)

Fifa says some Women’s World Cup games are already close to selling out. But if you want to secure your tickets, you’ll have to wait.

You need to prepare. Make sure you’ve pre-registered. Mark off the games you want to go to. Know how many tickets you want. Be sitting in front of a computer. Come 2pm next Tuesday, the 11th of April, it’s go time. “There’s super-strong demand,” says Dave Beeche, the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup CEO. “Be ready at your keyboard. It’s first come, first served.”

The World Cup is happening very soon. Held at venues across Australasia from July 20 until August 23, it’s set to be among the biggest sporting events Aotearoa has seen. Tens of thousands of international supporters are coming our way, and hundreds of thousands of tickets have already been purchased to games at four venues around the country, and across the ditch.

Some of those games are already close to a sellout. USA vs Netherlands in Wellington on July 27, a repeat of the 2019 final, is “allocation exhausted,” and anything featuring the Football Ferns is in high demand – especially their opening match against Norway on July 20, and a potential “clincher” against Switzerland in Dunedin on July 30. The semifinal at Eden Park on August 15 is popular too.

But right now, you can’t buy tickets to these or any other matches. Sales have paused so Fifa and NZ Football can work out exactly where everyone who’s already bought tickets is going to sit, and how many seats they’ve got left to sell in each venue. “We go through a bit of a process around seat allocations,” says Beeche. “All that planning needs to be locked down so we [can] understand what seats are actually available.”

Next Tuesday, that changes. Tickets are going back on sale to all games – yes, even the ones that look like they’re close to a sellout. There’ll even be a few tickets made available to the final, in Sydney, on August 23, for anyone that wants to make the trip.

“We highly encourage people to get on the front foot,” says Beeche. “The high demand matches will go.”

fans wearing argentina football jerseys and holding flags
Argentina fans watch the friendly vs the Football Ferns earlier in the year (Photo: Supplied)

There are limits in place. Fans are restricted to 10 tickets per match, and 100 tickets total per person. Prices are as low as $10 for kids and $20 for adults for some round robin games, rising for the knockout stages. Scalping measures are in place, with tickets sent straight to phones close to match day, and an official resale process so those who can no longer make it can sell their tickets.

“We have quite a robust ticketing system,” says Beeche. For those thinking there might be a Ticketmaster-style meltdown, it probably won’t happen. “It’s ready to cope with any load on it.”

Anyone thinking they can saunter up to the gate on match day and grab a ticket, however, will be out of luck. “We don’t do walk-up tickets,” says Beeche. “In typical Kiwi style you might be thinking about wandering up on the day depending on the weather – that’s not going to be possible. You need to get organised.”

Which brings us back to next Tuesday. At 2pm, exactly 100 days out from kick off, the rest of the 1.5 million available tickets will be up for grabs. Almost half have already sold, breaking records for being well ahead of the 2019 event in France. Beeche believes that demand is a combination of football enthusiasm left over from the men’s Fifa World Cup, plus the incredible performance of the Black Ferns in taking out the women’s Rugby World Cup on home soil last year. “There’s no doubt that women’s sport generally, but more particularly women’s football, is exploding globally,” he says.

He’s also hoping the country embraces all the visitors – from 120 countries – the event will bring to Aotearoa. “You can imagine 20,000 Americans hanging out in Auckland between games. They’re just going to bring so much excitement to the city,” says Beeche. “New Zealanders recognise when they’ve got a world-level mega event on their doorstep and they want to be a part of it.”

Will we all get in to the games? Or will we find ourselves bereft like Taylor Swift fans? We’ll find out on Tuesday.

Keep going!