Record breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 comes to a close

Published: 24 August 2023

New Zealand co-hosted the most successful FIFA Women’s World Cup ever, with over 700,000 people attending matches in New Zealand and almost 2 million fans attending matches in New Zealand and Australia.

Fifa world cup stadium

Singers Benee and Mallrat performing at the opening ceremony of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 at Eden Park, ahead of New Zealand playing Norway.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 concluded on Sunday 20 August, where Spain emerged as Champions, beating England, to win their maiden senior title.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s (MBIE) New Zealand Major Events Manager, Kylie Hawker-Green, says hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has provided significant benefits and will leave a lasting legacy for our country.

“It was fantastic to see record numbers of New Zealanders get behind the tournament, support the Football Ferns on home soil, and watch some of the world’s best football players in action,” says Kylie.

“Attendance records were broken multiple times, firstly at the opening match between the Football Ferns and Norway which at 42,137 set a new record for a men’s or women’s football match, and finally at the semi-final between Spain and Sweden which drew a crowd of 43,217.

“The tournament also saw around 1.88 million people in New Zealand, over a third of the population (39%), watching the tournament on television.

“New Zealanders were also engaged online, with over 46,000 users viewing the EyesOn website, which contained the latest information, stories, and updates about what was happening on and off the pitch, over 78,000 times for a total of 1,663 hours."

EyesOn website(external link)

MBIE, as the lead government agency for the event, has worked closely with other government departments to develop a FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 leverage and legacy programme. The programme is supported by a $10 million fund, where over 50 projects and events across the motu were supported to ensure the ongoing benefits of co-hosting this incredible event were captured.

“Co-hosting an event of this magnitude has generated social and economic benefits for New Zealand and will leave a lasting legacy for football and women’s sport in this country, and our communities.

“Through education programmes like Kōtuitui, tamariki across the motu have had the opportunity to learn about different cultures through the global lens of football. More than $1 million has been invested in community-led initiatives aimed at improving women and girls’ access to sport and active recreation activities who may otherwise face barriers to participation. We’ve also provided additional funding to NZ Football to support its legacy programme to help grow the game and increase participation in football in Aotearoa."

The event provided an unprecedented opportunity for New Zealand to showcase our commitment to women’s sport and continue our track record of successfully hosting major sporting events.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 rounds off an amazing 2 years where we also hosted the Women’s Rugby World Cup, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and the International Women and Sport Conference 2022.

“New Zealand provided a world-class experience to the large numbers of international visitors to our shores, showcasing our unique culture and offering to the world and cementing our reputation as a great place to host major events."

MBIE has commissioned a post-event evaluation, which will be released following the tournament, however early reports are that it has boosted New Zealand’s economy.

“We’ve heard positive feedback from tourism and hospitality operators here in New Zealand, who have said that they’ve seen a notable spike in business during the tournament in what are traditionally quieter winter months. Reports from the hotel industry also suggest that the demand during the tournament led to increased room nights in Host Cities and Team Base Cities.

“Credit card spending also suggests international visitors contributed to the economy, with figures recently released by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand showing there was $492 million of spending in New Zealand on overseas-sourced cards during July. This was up from $423 million in June and was the first rise in spending from overseas cards in New Zealand since March."

More information about Aotearoa New Zealand’s role in co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 can be found on MBIE’s Major Events website.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023(external link) — New Zealand Major Events

MBIE media contact