Construction on The Home of the Matildas – the largest football-specific infrastructure project in Australia’s history – is well underway at La Trobe University Sports Park and remains on course for its official opening ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™.
The project is being funded as part of a $101 million investment by the Andrews’ Labor Government into the La Trobe University Sports Park, with the $42.29 million for The Home of The Matildas the biggest investment ever made by any level of government for a football-specific project in Australia – in addition to the Federal Government’s contribution of $15 million.
In addition to the significant progress on the main structure, the facility’s showpiece pitch - a FIFA-standard hybrid - has been laid, with a further hybrid and three FIFA-standard synthetic pitches to be added in the first stage.
CommBank Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson expressed that the facilities would be comparable to the world’s best facilities available to women.
“All those little details that matter in a high performance environment, they’ve thought about it all. I’m really impressed.”
The Home of The Matildas will first welcome the CommBank Matildas ahead of their send-off match being held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Friday, 14 July before they embark on their FIFA Women’s World Cup™ journey.
The facility will also officially host the Jamaican Women’s National Football Team during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™.
It will then be available for use by Australia’s national teams in the preparation for future tournaments and is equally capable of hosting training camps for elite women’s and men’s representative teams across all age groups.
The facility will ultimately become the home base for all of the state’s major football programs as part of the venue’s designation as the State Football Centre, with the 800-seat showpiece pitch also capable of hosting significant football fixtures.
Over 80% of the project budget is dedicated to facilities that are accessible by the football community, who will be able to experience this world class facility - with bookings available at a heavily discounted price.
Football Victoria will also be relocating to brand new, state of the art offices at the precinct, bringing the football and administrative operations of the organisation together at a singular venue for the very first time.
As part of the arrangement, Football Victoria and La Trobe University are presently exploring a range of opportunities for collaboration across education, leadership, sports administration, sports science and high performance.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said it was exhilarating to see the project coming to life.
“This substantial commitment from the Victorian Government, combined with the Federal Government’s earlier $15 million contribution to the project, will have a profound impact on the development and growth of women and girls’ football, and football overall, in Victoria and Australia for decades to come as part of our bold and ambitious Legacy ’23 plan,” he said.
Football Victoria Director and Football Australia Legacy ‘23 Ambassador, Azmeena Hussain, believes the facility will help support the drive for equity in our game.
“This facility is incredible. It provides so many opportunities to upskill women in football… to participate not just on the pitch, but also in sports administration and leadership opportunities.”
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said he was excited to see progress on this major development at the University’s Sports Park.
“I’m thrilled to see such exciting progress on these exceptional sporting facilities at La Trobe University, which will offer huge benefit for our students, for sports science research and for the elite athletes and community members who use them.”
Four of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ Group Stage matches and two of the Round of 16 knockout matches will be taking place in Victoria at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
The CommBank Matildas will play the last of their three Group Stage matches in Melbourne on 31 July against Canada, in what could prove a pivotal match as they seek to qualify for the knockout stages.
The Victorian Government is significantly investing in women and girls’ football from the community grassroots, through to high performance, including the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™, the world-class Home of the Matildas at La Trobe University, and our national teams.
As part of Football Australia’s bold and ambitious Legacy ‘23 plan, Victoria is leading the way in ensuring that there will be an everlasting legacy for women and girls’ football long after the tournament has been successfully held on our shores this year.