Photo credit: X (Twitter) — CommBank Matildas — @TheMatildas
The Matildas have taken Australia by storm, adding a program of exciting sporting events to the winter calendar, proving to be hugely beneficial for local hospitality businesses, at a time when they need it most.
8,500 fans filled The Drive and FIFA Fan Festival™ at Festival Plaza for Wednesday’s match against England, as venues across the state welcomed an influx of proud Matildas spectators, keeping their tills ringing at levels usually not seen midweek in the thick of winter.
Debbie Sterrey, CEO of Tennis SA says The Drive were thrilled to become a live site for the Matildas semifinal.
“It was a quick turnaround to get the venue ready, but this event really showed the versatility The Drive has to offer.
“It was great to see so many people filling the seats on Centre Court, as well as enjoying the match from the grandstands, including our new northern and eastern facilities.
“Whilst it wasn’t the result we were all hoping for, it was wonderful to see our community come together to support the team who have stopped the nation,” she said.
Fifa Fanfest at The Drive — Photo: Frankie the Creative
The South Australian Business Chamber has been encouraging South Australians to use these occasions as a way to boost venue visitation during the World Cup, with CEO Andrew Kay taking to social media yesterday to encourage everyone to support local businesses while supporting the Matildas.
“Tonight’s game (last night) is the perfect opportunity to get together and support our local hospitality industry, which during a cold winter and economic slowdown could certainly benefit from extra dollars going through the till,” he said.
“It has been particularly beneficial for those who favour showing sporting events, that said even those of us who aren’t considered sports-oriented venues have enjoyed increased dining traffic pre-game.
“I think it has been a welcome distraction from the current economic reality for many and there was a noticeable positive shift in mood for many patrons,” said Ms Douglas.
Nick Sando, General Manager of The Original Coopers Alehouse said, “There has been a fantastic turnout of Adelaide fans supporting their nation during the World Cup, and that’s been great for pubs”.
A spokesperson from SkyCity Adelaide said the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Matildas matches in particular have seen fans flock to Adelaide’s best sports bar, The District at SkyCity.
“SkyCity increased its roster for each of the Matildas matches in The District as fans embraced gathering with friends to watch matches on the 20m video wall.
“We’ve seen crowd numbers equalling and sometimes higher than blockbuster AFL matches, which is incredible for mid-week games that people have the option of watching in the comfort of their own homes in winter.
“This Saturday will be no exception as the Matildas compete for third place at the same time as pre-match Crows v Sydney fans converge in the precinct,” they said.
More than seven million Australians tuned in to watch the Matildas take on England last night, more than double the 3.06 million viewers who watched the AFL Grand Final in 2022.
Last night’s loss against England was not the result we were hoping for, but it’s clear Australia is proud of how far the Matildas have come. We urge everyone to continue supporting their campaign for third place in this Saturday’s match against Sweden.