FFA Considering Bigger Venues for Sydney Derby

October 30, 2013

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) is considering moving the A-League’s Sydney derbies to a bigger venue from next season as part of efforts to raise the league’s profile. 

The FFA has already booked the 80,000 capacity ANZ Stadum should the two Sydney teams, Western Sydney and Sydney FC, meet in this season’s final. 

The first derby took place last week and sold out, seeing a record crowd of 40,338 at Allianz Stadium. The January 11 clash at the 20,000 seater Pirtek Stadium is also sure to sell out, which has raised the debate over whether the match should be played in a larger venue.

There are two further Sydney derbies to be played this season, though A-league head Damien de Bohun has ruled out those games being moved due to the Wanderers’ contractual obligations and the club’s 16,000 members.

He said: “A big part of the Wanderers’ success is their loyalty to their fans, they’re part of the club’s DNA.

“They have a commitment to Parramatta as their home ground and they’re committed to their fans to play their games there.

“With 16,000 members, they need to stay loyal to those fans who have brought those memberships so they can be guaranteed a place at all the big games at Parramatta.

“If the club themselves were to express an interest in moving the derby to a larger venue then we would definitely look at that.”

De Bohun added that the commercial opportunities that would arise from playing the fixture at a larger venue were very attractive and the FFA would look at the possibility from next season. 

“There are a lot of commercial reasons why you’d look at it very seriously and we’re very alive to that.

“We will definitely be looking at that when we come to fixturing next season and beyond.

“We are serious about growing the league and we think the opportunity to play matches in the future at big venue like ANZ is something that we need to look at very seriously.”