Tuesday 03 May 2022, 15:00

Commitment and enthusiasm in the Festival City

Adelaide / Tarntanya, the capital of the state of South Australia was the latest stop for a FIFA delegation visiting each of the host cities for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.

Kicking off its activities in the Festival City, the FIFA representatives, including Secretary General Fatma Samoura, travelled to Hindmarsh Stadium, which will host five FIFA Women’s World Cup games, four Group Stage matches and one Round of 16.

At the stadium, Rodney Harrex, CEO of the South Australian Tourism Commission and Hitaf Rasheed, Executive Director of Events South Australia displayed the progress of the $53 AUD million renovation process, including a major overhaul of the stadium’s changing rooms, shade covering over the eastern grandstand, full replacement of the pitch, new arena lighting and improved media and corporate facilities.

Phil King talks to FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, Jane Fernandez, Dave Beeche and Rodney Harrex at Coopers Stadium

The revamp will breathe new life into the iconic Adelaide venue, enhancing match day experiences for FIFA Women’s World Cup fans with added facilities like two new video replay screens, new arena lighting, upgraded sound and LED systems and turnstiles.

A visit to downtown Adelaide followed where the delegation saw the site for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Fan Fest in the aptly named Festival Plaza. The Fan Fest will provide fans with the opportunity to soak up the convivial and fun atmosphere of the tournament, with matches being shown on large screens for the public to enjoy.

Living up to its name as the Festival City, the FIFA contingent saw Adelaide’s experience in welcoming and managing large numbers of visitors in action at Tasting Australia - one of the largest outdoor food and wine festivals in the country which will bring thousands of people to the South Australian capital over ten days.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura with Jane Fernandez, Dave Beeche and Jenny Mann at Festival Centre Plaza

Football South Australia’s new State Centre facility then welcomed the delegation. Opened just fourteen days previously, the venue provides access to one natural turf and two synthetic football pitches for the local community, as well as ten five-a-side pitches.

Michael Carter, CEO of Football South Australia spoke to the FIFA Secretary General about his staff’s and indeed the local community’s excitement, at the prospect of opening the doors of the new facility for training to the FIFA Women’s World Cup teams visiting Adelaide.

Speaking at the end of her visit to Adelaide, Fatma Samoura said: “Adelaide is truly the Festival City and we can’t wait to see it harness the unique spirit of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to bring innovative, artistic and creative experiences to all involved in the tournament.

"We are looking forward to working with the local authorities and Football South Australia to use the competition as a platform to show young girls how being involved in football can help them excel not just on the pitch but in life, taking them Beyond Greatness.”

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura talks to Hitaf Rasheed, Executive Director, Events South Australia and Phil King, General Manager, Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Coopers Stadium