News | 19 February 2016

Phoenix extension great news for football in NZ

Extension of the Phoenix licence is just reward for passionate campaigning by the football community on both sides of the Tasman, says Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

The Wellington Phoenix has been granted an immediate four-year extension of its licence through to the end of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League with two further three-year extensions through to 2022/23 and then 2025/26, dependent on a number of factors, such as broadcast rights and crowd numbers.

Mayor Wade-Brown, an enthusiastic supporter of the Phoenix, congratulated the Football Federation of Australia and the Phoenix on the 10-year licence and thanked all the fans and supporters who got behind the team, including the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

“There’s been a concerted effort to secure the Phoenix’s future in the A-League and it is good see a positive outcome,” she says. “The decision is important to football in New Zealand, and we are pleased Phoenix will remain in Wellington – the backing of the Lord Mayor of Sydney shows the value of the New Zealand – based team in the A-League was shared on both sides of the Tasman.”

Wellington Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, an active participant in the ‘Save the Nix’ campaign, says today’s news is a relief. “The Phoenix have played a huge part in the ongoing development of football in New Zealand – their importance to the game cannot be overestimated.

“It’s important to acknowledge the Phoenix fans who have made their voice heard clearly – the Phoenix belong in Wellington.”

Councillor Jo Coughlan, Chair of the City Council’s Economic Growth Committee, says she will be looking forward to discussions with Phoenix management regarding possible assistance the Council can provide to further secure the club’s future in the Capital.

“The Phoenix are an important factor in the promotion of the Wellington region internationally – the club has helped raise the profile of the city and we want this to continue,” she says.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive Chris Whelan said the Wellington Phoenix’s management deserves praise. “Hats off to Rob Morrison and his Welnix team. They are the ones taking Wellington to the next level, and are the heroes of this story.”