### ODT Online Thu, 15 Aug 2013
Dunedin to host FIFA U-20 World Cup games
Dunedin will be a host venue for the biggest football tournament to be held in New Zealand.
Forsyth Barr Stadium will host games in the 2015 Fifa world under-20 tournament, organisers confirmed today. Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei are also hosting games. Read more
Wow. The Spooks have worked overtime on this release, fired by opinion (and even a footnote of purpose) —not, ratepayer budgets.
Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Dunedin Confirmed as a Host City for FIFA’s Second Biggest Tournament
This item was published on 15 Aug 2013.
With just under two years until kick off in the first match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, FIFA and the New Zealand Football Local Organising Committee (LOC) have confirmed that Dunedin will play a significant role in the tournament.
Dunedin will host seven matches altogether, including a Round of 16 clash (the round before the quarter finals). All of the games will be played under the roof of Otago Stadium.
The naming of Dunedin as a host city followed a robust selection process where a total of 7 successful cities were named – Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Whangarei, Christchurch and New Plymouth.
Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull is delighted the city will be participating in one of world football’s premier events.
“This is a wonderful outcome for the city and will be a great opportunity to showcase Dunedin to players, officials and supporters. Hosting 2011 Rugby World Cup matches in Dunedin means we are well equipped to deal with another high-profile international event. We can build on what we learnt hosting RWC matches and will be working closely with Football South and other stakeholders to ensure we get the maximum effect from the event and give visitors to the city a fantastic welcome.”
Mr Cull says the city has negotiated excellent value for the ratepayers with FIFA although the terms of the arrangement will remain confidential at this time.
“Due to the considerable work done by staff, we are confident it is a sound investment.”
Darren Burden, CEO, Dunedin Venues, the company which operates Otago Stadium, is thrilled Dunedin will feature in the tournament.
“Our Stadium is an ideal football venue for players and spectators alike and, with the internationally significant scale of this event, it’s a privilege to host top class football under the roof. This announcement reinforces the importance of having an outstanding venue as a draw card to host international sporting events. I think we’re all in for a sporting spectacular in 2015.”
As for Rugby World Cup 2011, Dunedin’s Stadium will be known as Otago Stadium for the lead up to and duration of the tournament to meet FIFA’s clean sponsorship rules.
Matthew Holdridge, Chair of the FootballSouth Board, says, “On behalf of all the players, supporters, and administrators in the FootballSouth region, I would like to express our delight at the fantastic news Dunedin will host seven matches at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“This is a major event for our Football Federation, one that, if we missed, may not have come around again in our lifetime. I know our football community is keen to be part of this event. FootballSouth will be working closely with FIFA and the Local Organising Committee to ensure our 7,800 affiliated football members and the wider community gets as many opportunities as possible to engage with the event and the teams playing at Otago Stadium.”
Dave Beeche, CEO FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015, is full of praise for all of the cities that were involved in the bidding process and feels that having access to a covered stadium adds significantly to the tournament.
“We’d like to thank all of the cities that put in a bid to host matches for their work over the last year to get to this point. The feedback from FIFA was very positive following the recent site inspection tour and they are looking forward to a highly successful tournament in 2015. With the tournament being played during the winter, it’s fantastic to have a full covered stadium as it means we’ll have ideal pitch conditions and visitors will have another good reason to head south. The FIFA delegates were very impressed with Otago Stadium and see the roof as a major benefit given the timing of the tournament. To have seven stunning venues locked in nearly two years out from the first match gives us a great planning timeframe and we’ll use all of it to ensure that a standout event is delivered. This tournament has a huge global following and that’s the opportunity we have with this event – to deliver exposure for New Zealand and host regions, both directly during the tournament and via a massive international television audience. With the world’s best footballing talent on display and stadiums full of colour, noise, and atmosphere, it will be a new experience for New Zealand that everyone will want to be a part of.”
Altogether the tournament will host 24 national teams, include 52 matches, and will run for three weeks from 30 May until 20 June 2015. This is during the local football season, which will provide a great opportunity for the sport’s large youth playing base to be inspired by the world’s best players. With an average of three goals scored per game in the last three FIFA U-20 World Cup tournaments this will be dynamic, exciting football at its best.
The tournament will be broadcast to more than 100 countries and a global television audience of more than 170 million people, providing exposure for the tournament, the host cities, and New Zealand on a massive scale. It is estimated more than 7,000 overseas fans will pour into New Zealand for the tournament and to support their teams.
FIFA Factsheet (PDF, 188.2 KB)
 Based on the FIFA U-20 World Cup Columbia 2011 Television Audience Report produced for FIFA TV by KantraSport
Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 477 4000.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: tourismnewzealand.com – NZ U20 WC logo