Live sites to bring World Cup action into the heart of Newcastle

09 Jul 2023

Newcastle's Civic precinct will turn green and gold this month when City of Newcastle hosts outdoor screenings of the Matildas World Cup campaign in Wheeler Place.

There will be added home-grown pride on the line, with Novocastrians Clare Wheeler and Emily Van Egmond this week named in the 23-player squad for the much-anticipated tournament.

Thousands of football fans are expected to converge on the live site to cheer on the Matildas, who will open the FIFA Women's World Cup against the Republic of Ireland on Thursday 20 July.

The live site will be set up next to Civic Theatre from 7pm for each of Australia's matches during the Group stage, which will also see the Matildas take on Nigeria on 27 July and Canada on 31 July.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the live site will bring the action of the World Cup to Newcastle, offering a family-friendly way for locals to enjoy the atmosphere and cheer on their football heroes with fellow Novocastrians.

"Novocastrians are passionate about football and turned out in droves in December when we held an open-air broadcast of the Socceroos sudden death match against Argentina during the men's World Cup," Cr Nelmes said.

"I know we can expect the same level of support for our much-loved Matildas, who inspired an Australian crowd attendance record for a women's soccer match during their clash against Brazil in Newcastle just a few years ago."

Chair of the Sports Infrastructure Working Party Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz encouraged Novocastrians to join together at the City's family-friendly live site in support of the Matildas.

"City of Newcastle is thrilled to be able to host these live screenings for the community and I invite everyone to don their green and gold and get down to Wheeler Place to soak up what is sure to be an incredible World Cup atmosphere," Cr Winney-Baartz said.

"With the Matildas group matches kicking off at 8pm each time, I'd encourage everyone to show their support for our local business community, with plenty of great places to eat and drink throughout the city centre and Darby Street before and after the game."

Novocastrian women have played a significant role in the success of the Matildas throughout their history, with more than 20 players hailing from Newcastle since the Australian women's team was officially formed in 1978.

This includes Matildas stalwarts Cheryl Salisbury, Joey Peters and Emily van Egmond, who have pulled on the green and gold jersey more than 100 times each.

Former Matildas midfielder Shelley Youman, who represented Australia 23 times during the 1990s, welcomed the opportunity to come together at City of Newcastle’s live site screenings.

“Gathering as a community at the Newcastle live site to support the Matildas in the Women's World Cup will ignite a power of unity and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of women’s football and women’s sport in general,” Ms Youman said.

“Newcastle has always been a fantastic sporting hub for female athletes. The Women’s World Cup on home soil will create electric atmosphere, and inspire a new generation of athletes, demonstrating that the strength and spirit of a community can transcend the boundaries of the sporting arena.”

Further details on the Women's World Cup live site will be shared on City of Newcastle's Facebook and What's On websites in the lead-up to this month's events.