Home Uncategorized FIFA Women’s World Cup Winds Down With First-ever Fan Festival

FIFA Women’s World Cup Winds Down With First-ever Fan Festival

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A standard-setting fan festival marked the end of the month-long FIFA World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand on Sunday with Spain’s 1-0 defeat of England to emerge champions..

According to a release from FFIFA Communications, the Fan Festivals in the nine host cities for the world cup “capped of a month of football and family fun with tens of thousands cheering Spain to victory around Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand”.

It stated: “From the moment the tournament kicked off on July 20, the FIFA Fan Festival became the focal point of celebration for thousands who enjoyed this unique football experience without entering a stadium.“If you like football this is the place to be, if you can’t get to the actual game,” said Stina Norlander from Sweden, who lives in Sydney and visited the FIFA Fan Festival several times.After the final whistle in the Final, 777,000 fans had been part of the FIFA Fan Festival, with the attendance peaking on August 12 when 68,000 people across all venues watched the Matildas beat France in a dramatic quarter-final.“The atmosphere has been electric, crazy! There is a lot of noise, excitement and fans jumping around cheering. It is so much better than being at home watching it on TV,” said Daniel Bolenhargen at the Adelaide/Tarntanya Fan Festival.All 64 matches were beamed live across massive screens, while high-profile musical acts, DJs, and other fun family football activities provided additional entertainment for visitors of all ages.Tanya from Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau attended the opening match at Eden Park but became a regular at the local FIFA Fan Festival.“Once we had been here, I decided that this is where we going to watch all the games from now on.”Robert, from Perth, was a regular at his local FIFA Fan Festival and was blown away by the atmosphere.“I loved watching the matches on the big screen and the atmosphere was electric when the whole crowd got behind it.”The entertainment included some of the biggest names in the Australian and Kiwi music industry with artists like Ladyhawke, Jessica Mauboy, Kimbra and San Cisco among the long list of high-profile acts, as well as up-and-coming local talents.This week, the fans watching the semi-final between Spain and Sweden at the FIFA Fan Festival in Sydney were treated by Australian singer-songwriter Tones and I performing the tournament’s walkout theme “Bring it On”, which has resonated throughout the tournament.FIFA Fan Festivals (formerly FIFA Fan Fests) have been a regular feature of the FIFA World Cup since 2006.However, this year’s tournament in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand has been the first time this unique fan experience has been offered in all host cities of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The success of the FIFA Fan Festivals exceeded all expectations, with many venues reaching capacity on several nights during the tournament.Even during times without matches, fans continued to stream into the venues to enjoy the entertainment, the FIFA Store and the food from award-winning local chefs.“The Fan Festivals have been really well organised. I was quite staggered by the whole design, about the partner activations, the shops, loads of places to watch the game and good food. I’ve been very impressed,” said England fan Harri Millard in Sydney.The high number of young families at the FIFA Fan Festival demonstrated the venues were seen as a safe place to enjoy football, with organisers implementing strict access requirements and making the smoke-free venues fully accessible.

“My favourite part of the FIFA Fan Festival has been having access to the mini pitch and all of the other activities focused on the kids. It has made the experience easier for us as the kids have had something to do until the matches start,” added Bolenhargen in Adelaide/Tarntanya.Angus Woodhead in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau fully agreed: “It was great and everything was there. All kinds of people were there, with a real mix of demographics, from kids through to grandmas from all different nationalities.”Alongside the FIFA Fan Festival, football fans in Sydney and Auckland were also able to enjoy special exhibitions from the FIFA Museum.

The exhibition “Calling the Shots: Faces of Women’s Football” at the FIFA Museum presented by Hyundai in Sydney/Gadigal welcomed over 50,000 enthusiastic fans, families and individuals from all walks of life.Also, the “Rainbow of Shirts” pop-up exhibition area in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau provided an exclusive experience for all the visitors to the FIFA Fan Festival.The Host Cities completed a logistical master-class by feeding hundreds of thousands of fans, including serving hundreds of thousands of beverages, in a sustainable manner by using recyclable packaging, segregating waste and providing excellent links to public transport.FIFA Women’s World Cup mascot Tazuni made an appearance at all nine venues and thousands of fans took the opportunity immortalise their World Cup experience with now the most famous penguin in the world.Visitors also made sure to secure another type of memento from the official FIFA Store with hundreds of thousands of shirts, scarves, beanies and other items flying off the shelves in every city, any many stores running out of some stock well before the Final.

“I managed to get what I wanted second time queuing after they had stocked up,” smiled England fan Millard, who was pleased with her decision to watch the third-placed play-off at the FIFA Fan Festival.“If you haven’t got tickets, it’s the next best thing,” said the 43-year-old England supporter.

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