Press Release – North Harbour Stadium
Football (soccer) fans can look forward to a month-long feast of “the beautiful game” at North Harbour Stadium, leading up to the big one – the All Whites’ game against Honduras on [Saturday] October 9. With football riding on a wave …
Feast of football at North Harbour Stadium
31 August 2010
Football (soccer) fans can look forward to a month-long feast of “the beautiful game” at North Harbour Stadium, leading up to the big one – the All Whites’ game against Honduras on [Saturday] October 9.
With football riding on a wave of popularity not seen for 20 years, the multi-purpose community facility in Albany is showcasing the round ball code from the grassroots to the international, featuring the game’s leading male and female talent and rising stars.
“The month of football kicks off with the finals of the United Soccer 1 men’s competition on [Saturday] September 11,” says the venue’s Chris Kemp whose title – commercial and marketing manager – understates the reality that his role is as much community-focused as it is commercial.
“The 83rd final of New Zealand’s version of England’s FA Cup – the Chatham Cup – is played the following day [Sunday, September 12]. This iconic knockout competition, fought for since 1923, has been decided nine times at North Harbour Stadium since we opened in 1997,” he says. This year’s final will be played between Auckland’s Bay Olympic and Miramar Rangers of Wellington with kick-off at 2pm.
A week later, [Sunday] September 19, the women’s equivalent – the Women’s Knockout Cup – will have its grand finale at the same venue which two years ago hosted the FIFA Women’s Under-17 Final in front of a 17,000+ crowd, including the legendary German Kaiser, Franz Beckenbauer. Nine years earlier, the  FIFA U-17 Men’s Championship was decided at Albany before a capacity crowd as Brazil beat Australia on penalties.
From September 29 – October 8, the Oceania Football Confederation Women’s Nations Cup will be held including teams from Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand’s own Football Ferns.
New Zealand Football – the game’s governing body in this country – has based its HQ at North Harbour Stadium since 2003.
“It’s only fitting then that our venue hosts the All Whites’ first match on home soil since the team’s remarkable 2010 World Cup achievement when it finished the tournament as the only unbeaten side, a feat acknowledged by everyone from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter to U2’s Bono,” says Kemp.
The much-awaited game against Honduras, a fellow World Cup finalist, kicks off at 7.30pm on October 9 and is expected to be a sell-out at the 25,000 capacity venue. Tickets are available from Ticketek and start at $19 (child) and $39 (adult). New Zealand plays Paraguay in Wellington three days later [October 12].
North Harbour Stadium has played host to an estimated 26,000 footballers from the age of five years at the community venue in the last year. The facility has two football fields including an all-weather artificial turf pitch opened in 2007 with support from FIFA and the local North Shore City Council.
As Auckland enters the ‘Super City’ era, the North Harbour Stadium will become part of the Auckland Council’s Regional Facilities Auckland CCO.
Kemp says the venue’s commitment to the community will continue and, having recently been selected as the site for the new Northern Regional Aquatic Centre facility, is intent on delivering its vision of being an iconic venue.
For more information on the football fixtures and all events at North Harbour Stadium, please visit www.stadium.co.nz.