Fri, 29 Sep 2023

WELLINGTON, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Communities across New Zealand will benefit from newly upgraded sporting facilities as a result of New Zealand co-hosting the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, a government minister said on Friday.

The government is investing around 19 million NZ dollars (11.1 million U.S. dollars) to support upgrades at 30 of the 32 potential sporting facilities earmarked for the tournament, including pitch, lighting and facility enhancements and gender-neutral changing spaces, said Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson.

The venues and local councils are also contributing to the costs of these upgrades, said Robertson, who is also Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

"The FIFA Women's World Cup is the largest women's sporting event on the planet," Robertson said, adding hosting an event of this magnitude will generate significant social and economic benefits for New Zealand and leave a lasting legacy for football and women's sport in this country.

These upgrades are critical to ensure the success of the tournament, but will also benefit local communities, football clubs and many different sporting codes that use these facilities, which is another great reason to invest in them, he said.

"They will also put us in a stronger position when bidding to host major international events in the future," he added.

The FIFA Women's World Cup is taking place from July 20 to August 20, 2023.

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