Matildas to play New Zealand in Townsville

Date published: 10 March 2022

Australia’s Matildas will play their first game in North Queensland when they take on the New Zealand Ferns on 8 April in a historic match at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the city was ready to rally around the Matildas v Ferns match next month.

“Australia and New Zealand will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year, so to have each country’s national football team play an international in Townsville ahead of the World Cup is a major coup for the city,” Cr Hill said.

“Council is proud to throw its support behind bringing these two national-level women’s football teams to Townsville.

“The Matildas have already had a strong start to 2022, winning a number of matches while representing Australia at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India.

“To have the team back on home soil and playing in Townsville will be great for our city’s economy and for diehard football fans across the state.

“During the past year Townsville has had plenty of practice showing support for world class sporting matches at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

“Council is already looking forward to activating the city to welcome the teams and supporters to the north.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the women’s football international was predicted to generate more than $2 million for Townsville’s visitor economy.

“This is a game of firsts,” Mr Stewart said.

“It’s the first time the Matildas have played in the North and Queensland Country Bank Stadium’s inaugural soccer match.

“We’re expecting more than 16,000 spectators at Queensland Country Bank Stadium to see the Matildas and Ferns do battle.

“The Matildas and Ferns’ predicted $2 million boost to Townsville’s visitor economy shows Queensland Country Bank Stadium is onto an international winner which is important for our local businesses as we emerge from the Omicron wave.”

“It was the Palaszczuk Government that built Queensland Country Bank Stadium as we know the importance of activating our CBD which supports our local businesses.”

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said this was a great opportunity for juniors to see international football in Townsville.

“The Matildas is one of the nation’s favourite teams and it’s fantastic to again be making sporting history in Townsville,” Mr Walker said.

“Football is continuing to grow in the city and this will help grow the game even further.”

“In Townsville female junior participation in football increased more than 13 per cent in the last year, and with the 2032 Olympics coming to Queensland, next month’s match could help push some of Townsville’s players to the national stage.”

“The reason the Palaszczuk Government built Queensland Country Bank Stadium was to attract world class entertainment and the Matildas match is great news for Townsville.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the game would bring people to Townsville from throughout Queensland.

“This is a great opportunity for Queensland Kiwis to visit Townsville, support the Ferns and explore the North’s many world-class visitor experiences,” Mr Harper said.

“It’s the perfect weekend away in Townsville for both Ferns and Matildas supporters.

“It’s great for Townsville’s economy and local businesses which is why the Palaszczuk Government continues to bring more content to Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

“When spectators come to town for major events at the stadium, accommodation and transport providers, restaurants, cafes, hotels and tour operators all benefit.”

Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said around 20 per cent of Queensland football club members were girls and women.

“Queensland is seeing tremendous growth in women’s sport and the number of girls playing football,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“By bringing international football to Townsville, we can show young North Queenslanders what’s possible, and inspire them to bring their best game and stay active.

“It’s terrific to see New Zealand and Australian national women’s football teams also kicking goals for tourism and events jobs in Townsville.

“The Matildas v New Zealand in Townsville starts the countdown to Queensland’s eight international football matches of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Football Australia CEO James Johnson said Townsville was the ideal host for the trans-Tasman battle. “Football Australia is delighted to be bringing Australia’s favourite sporting team, the Commonwealth Bank Matildas to Townsville in what will be a night of firsts for the team, the city and the region,” Mr Johnson said.

“North Queensland and Far North Queensland has a rich history of producing players for our men’s national teams, and we know that female participation continues to soar in these regions, so it’s our hope by playing this women’s international in Townsville we will enable these participants to watch their footballing heroes in action plus inspire a new generation of Commonwealth Bank Matildas.

“With just under 500 days to go, it’s our vision to provide the football community and as many Australians as possible with the opportunity to watch the Commonwealth Bank Matildas on home soil while we continue to build towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.

“We appreciate the support of the Queensland Government and Townsville City Council in partnering with us to bring the Commonwealth Bank Matildas to Townsville for the very first time.”

Tickets to the historic encounter start at $69 for a family, $26 for adults, $21 for concessions and $16 for children excluding transaction fees.

The pre-sale for Football Account holders starts at 10am (Queensland time), Thursday 10 March, with the General Public tickets window opening at 11am, Monday 14 March via Ticketmaster.

Matildas Announcement
Caption: Townsville's Queensland Country Bank Stadium to host Australia's Matildas vs New Zealand Ferns on 8 April.