Wellington's Fever Pitch welcomes the world for FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015

20 May 2015

This year, Wellington is one of seven cities hosting the second biggest football tournament in the world – FIFA U-20 World Cup – and we plan to give the teams a warm welcome to the Fever Pitch in Civic Square.

All Whites vs Bahrain, Wellington Regional Stadium 2009

All Whites vs Bahrain, Wellington Regional Stadium 2009

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Six-time FIFA U-20 World Cup champions Argentina will be playing four matches and will be joined in Wellington by teams from Panama, Austria, Ghana, New Zealand, and Myanmar. We’re celebrating this by giving each team its own dedicated National Day.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says: “Wellington has often been dubbed ‘New Zealand’s capital of football’ but it’s also a city well known for its cultural diversity, our warmth, and being home to embassies from all over the world.”

Visitors to the Fever Pitch can expect an Argentine barbecue with Latino music by Cumbia Bros to celebrate Argentina’s National Day on 25 May. We’re drumming up a storm for Africa’s National Day on 26 May and welcoming Ghana with free Ghanaian chocolate. Visitors can sample Panama’s national dish, Sancocho, on 27 May. Austria is welcomed on 28 May in a hotly contested Vienna coffee vs Wellington’s flat white competition.

We’ll be asking visitors and Wellingtonians to “white out” the city in support of our Junior All Whites and to come down to enjoy the sounds of Whitireia Performing Arts group performing 4 June.

Ambassador for the Argentine Republic, Fernando Escalona, says: “Wellington has always welcomed us with open arms so we are more than happy to work with Wellington City Council to extend the same warmth to our national team and celebrate our wonderful culture on the Fever Pitch.”  

There will be a wide range of nations from the Wellington community competing on the Fever Pitch over the next three weeks – among them will be Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Austria. Our New Zealand Street (homeless) football team will be playing, and we have two Able2 teams from the disabled community that will be joining in the games.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says: “We will celebrate our cultural diversity and embrace the beautiful game for all New Zealanders to enjoy.”

It’s a well-known fact amongst those on the football scene that Wellington can boast one of the biggest and fastest growing sign-ups to football clubs in the country. We are also home to New Zealand’s only professional football club, the Phoenix, and three of the country’s biggest football academies – Asia Pacific, Olé and of course the Phoenix Football Academy.

Wellington’s Fever Pitch will also be hosting football games and demonstrations, performance and music, inflatable goals, a photo booth and a chance to win a brand new car from Kia. The Fan Hub will also host a large FIFA Cube with fantastic football activities.

Tickets to the biggest celebration of global football ever seen in New Zealand are selling fast, with many of the best seats now sold; spectators are advised to get in quick if they want to be there when the next football superstar is discovered.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup kicks off on 30 May and runs for three weeks. Twenty-four nations from six FIFA confederations have qualified to compete in the 20th edition of the tournament.

The Fever Pitch Fan Hub will be open 25 May–14 June.