Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Capital is ecstatic over news that the home leg of the final qualifying round for the 2014 Football World Cup has been awarded to Wellington.
The home qualifying match will be played at Westpac Stadium on 20 November against the yet-to-be-determined fourth-placed team from the Concacaf region (North and Central America). The winner of the two-match series will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Mayor said memories of the famous victory over Bahrain, in Wellington in 2009, helped catapult Wellington ahead of the rival bid from Auckland’s Eden Park.
“Today we’ve confirmed another shot for glory,” said Mayor Wade-Brown. “Wellington has the best stadium, the best chance of a capacity crowd and therefore the best chance of an All Whites victory.
"This is a great opportunity for Wellington and for New Zealand football. Our enthusiastic Wellington crowd will give the All Whites the best chance for the qualifier.
"Wellington's reputation for a whole-of-city approach to recent, successful events including Rugby World Cup 2011 and The Hobbit premiere has put us in good stead with organisers. We reminded New Zealand Football of the success of the One Shot for Glory match against Bahrain in 2009,” she said.
Cr John Morrison, sports portfolio leader, says he’s glad that NZ Football has made the right decision and acknowledged Wellington's status as the country's home of top-level international football.
“I advise fans to book early - and bring ear protection,” he says.
"The full-house signs will be out again for this match - and anyone who was at the Bahrain game will remember the noise was deafening as the fans urged the All Whites to the win that took them to South Africa.
“Now’s our chance to send them on their way to Brazil.”
The All Whites most capped player and NZPFA board member Ivan Vicelich says the players are delighted with the Wellington decision.
“Wellington holds great memories for the players and fans who witnessed something very special vs Bahrain in 2009. We're focused and determined to replicate that performance in November,” he says.