Wellington Phoenix football home is back.
New Zealand’s only professional football club hopes to attract two big teams in the 2020/21 A-League season, after Phoenix confirmed it will return to Wellington next month.
Phoenix hosts Western United on May 22 at Wellington’s Ski Stadium and Perth Glory on May 30 at Eden Park in Auckland.
Phoenix striker Tomar Hameed took a last-minute penalty kick to put Adelaide ahead.
The Wellington match will start at 4pm and the Auckland match will take place at 3.30pm.
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“This will be our first game in New Zealand in 14 months – 433 days since we last played our true fans in this country,” said General Manager David Doom.
“Our fans across Wellington, Auckland and New Zealand deserve to see their team play this season.”
Dom has set a goal of attracting more than 15,000 fans to two New Zealand games in January, with more than 14,402 attending the Sydney Derby between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.
He said the Phoenix would provide much-needed financial incentive after months of expensive exercise to travel to Australia with the Govt-19 epidemic.
Phoenix have not played for Wellington since March 15 last year.
“Going to Australia is very expensive,” Dom said. “No club in the league has to pay for a transfer.
“Of course we hope the two big fans in New Zealand will narrow that gap somewhat and put some money in the treasury to buy more players next year.
“The crowd in Wollongong, when they are doing well, is not making money for us. Let’s be honest.”
Phoenix has postponed the afternoon football games on the afternoon of May 22 to allow local players to play in Capital Football Wellington to help attract spectators for 433 days for its first home game.
Tom said he could not play in Phoenix in Wellington for the weekend of May 29-30 because the food show takes place on the same dates at Sky Stadium, so they decided to move the match from Perth to Auckland.
“New Zealand had a real desire to return to as many matches as possible [as possible], Although the journey was scary.
“Three games in eight days is not enough, but the three games you have to travel through Tasman between two games is a huge demand.
“We saw it, but thought we’d give it a try, it’s a great opportunity to give back to the fans in New Zealand. We can not go to Wellington because of the food show, so we contacted Eden Park.
“It’s always a game in Wellington and a game in Auckland or a game in Wellington.”
Three wins in the last four games saw eighth-ranked Phoenix finish sixth.
They will play Brisbane Roe at Morton Daily Stadium on Saturday, with the team directly above them in the A-League table.
Fit-back striker Reno Biscopo is getting ready to start from bed after everything is back.