Auckland and Whangarei have been confirmed as hosts of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 – the first time the tournament will be held in the Southern Hemisphere.
The World Rugby Executive Council announced the winning bid overnight in Dublin with New Zealand coming out top ahead of a competitive bid from Australia.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council, has supported New Zealand Rugby’s and the government’s bid along with co-host Whangarei.
Mayor Phil Goff says it is great news that Auckland will be jointly hosting this exciting event.
“We are looking forward to providing a world-class stage for our champion Black Ferns to defend the World Cup in front of their fans.
“Auckland is well experienced at organising these events with the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and the World Masters Games last year, and we’ll be excellent hosts.
“The Cup will create excitement in the city and bring nearly $3.6 million in economic benefits for the region.
“2021 is shaping up to be an unmissable year in Auckland, with our region hosting the America’s Cup, APEC Leaders’ Week, the World Softball Championship and now the Women’s Rugby World Cup,” said Phil Goff.
Auckland and Whangarei will host matches at Albany Stadium, Waitakere Stadium and Northland Events Centre, with Eden Park available for the semi’s and final.
ATEED General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage says Auckland is an international award-winning world-class host city and hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup is consistent with the region becoming a world centre for women in sport in the next five years.
“Securing the Women’s Rugby World Cup, against strong competition from Australia, shows the growing status and recognition of international women’s sporting events,” he says.
“It’s also a great complement to New Zealand’s ongoing hosting of the 8th International Working Group on Women in Sport secretariat, culminating in the 8th World Conference of the IWG in 2022.
“Co-hosting with Whangarei is also a great fit. It’s an easy drive from Auckland and the ideal base for WRWC visitors for a Northland holiday, and, like Auckland, has a strong women’s rugby player and fan base.”
The event is expected to bring more than 4600 visitors to Auckland, generating more than 27,100 nights and contributing $3.6m in new money for the region.
There are also significant impacts through international exposure and broadcast opportunities, including in some of Auckland’s priority markets of Australia, United States, Japan and China. These countries are also likely to have a team competing in the tournament.
New Zealand’s bid was presented by Black Fern and NZR Board Member Farah Palmer, All Black and NZR Board Member Mark Robinson, NZR Chief Executive Steve Tew and they were joined by video by New Zealand’s Prime Minster, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern.