The McGowan Government is investing $35 million to upgrade some of the ageing facilities at HBF Park ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup hosted in Australia and New Zealand.
The range of upgrades will allow the historic Perth venue to meet FIFA requirements to be a host venue in the upcoming World Cup, as well as providing benefits for future events.
Upgrades to the historic venue are set to include:
- replacing the halogen lights with a shift to modern LED lighting;
- upgrading the pitch through removal, levelling and turf replacement;
- new player races and bench areas; and
- upgrades to the existing power supply, including a new switch room.
The funding will also cover temporary infrastructure such as additional seating and facilities for players, media and patrons to cater for the World Cup.
Work is also underway on the new $32 million State Football Centre in Queens Park, which is due for completion before the World Cup. The elite facility will be capable of hosting visiting international teams as a training ground, as well as grassroots football and junior development programs.
As a host city, Perth will showcase some of the best players in the world for several matches as well as training.
The prestigious competition is anticipated to deliver millions of dollars of economic and job-creating benefits to the State and will catapult Western Australia onto television screens around the world.
According to FIFA, the 2019 tournament had an enormous television audience with more than a billion viewers tuning into the action worldwide. More than a million fans attended the 52 matches played across France.
The 2023 tournament is set to be bigger and better than ever, expanding to 65 matches with 32 teams to compete in the biggest women's sporting event in the world.
The tournament will be held between July 20, 2023 and August 20, 2023 in cities across Australia and New Zealand following the successful joint-country bid. The full FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 match schedule and Perth match dates will be announced later this year.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Securing games in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup is a massive win for Western Australia.
"This investment in HBF Park will provide some much-needed upgrades to our premier soccer and rugby venue, while also enabling further temporary fit-outs for the World Cup games.
"This will be the biggest football event Perth has ever seen - providing global exposure for Western Australia and giving fans, young and old, lifelong memories of the world's best in action."
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Tony Buti:
"Western Australia has a strong and fast-growing football community, and major events like these provide incredible inspiration for more people to get involved in grassroots sport.
"Hosting this global tournament in Perth will do wonders for the future of women's football and is further proof that we are competitive at the highest level in securing sporting events for the benefit of WA.
"The tournament will provide a unique opportunity to develop women's football in Western Australia, providing an incredible boost to the game at all levels, from grassroots to the professional leagues."