A surge in demand driven by the Matildas’ fans to see their heroes in action has resulted in a change of venue for next month’s Olympic qualifiers.
Coming off the back of their incredible fourth-place finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Matildas will regroup in October as they begin their journey to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Drawn in Group A alongside Chinese Taipei, the Philippines and Iran, the Matildas Match Day 2 game against the Philippines has been moved from HBF Park in Perth, to the bigger Optus Stadium venue, also in Perth.
The move from the 22,000-seat capacity HBF Park to the 60,000 capacity Optus Stadium was originally floated last month and comes after all six matches were originally scheduled for HBF Park.
Australia will play the Philippines at 3pm (6pm AEDT) on Sunday October 29, followed by Iran taking on Chinese Taipei at 6pm (9pm AEDT).
Australia, Chinese Taipei, the Philippines and Iran will fight it out for top spot in the group and guaranteed progression to the final round of Olympic qualifying.
Sam Kerr and the Matildas will be back playing in Perth next month. Credit: Getty ImagesThe Matildas’ starting XI for their last game in Perth in 2018, featuring several stars from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Football Australia CEO James Johnson said the change of venue reinforced the huge demand for ticket sales for the Matildas’ matches following their World Cup success.
“Leading into and during the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, we have witnessed the enormous drawing power the CommBank Matildas, with almost 450,000 supporters attending the team’s Send-Off Match and World Cup fixtures,” Johnson said.
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“The CommBank Matildas are one of the strongest sporting brands in the country, and it has become strongly evident that passionate support for this iconic team continues to grow and, for the second time in 12 months, because of the popularity of the CommBank Matildas, we need to relocate to a venue with a higher capacity to accommodate the demand.
“We thank Premier Roger Cook, the Western Australian Government and Tourism Western Australia for their co-operation in ensuring a significantly greater number of fans can not only watch the team live, but also be a part of the journey towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The Matildas have not played in Perth since 2018, while Optus Stadium has previously hosted the 2019 A-League men’s grand final as well as several English Premier League clubs on exhibition tours.
All but one of the all-England friendlies drew crowds of 46,000 or more, with more than 55,000 attending three matches involving Manchester United or Chelsea.
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