Newcastle has been hinted as a possible match venue when Sydney hosts the Netball World Cup in 2027.
The former steel city was earmarked in a story featured on the Netball Australia website, after the 26 April announcement Sydney had won its bid to welcome the global event.
Destination NSW confirmed the prospect of a Newcastle-based match on Friday (30 April).
“The 2027 Netball World Cup has been secured for Sydney, and the venues and draw will be determined closer to the event,” a spokesperson told the Newcastle Weekly.
“Sydney Olympic Park will be the home of the tournament, and the NSW Government will liaise with Netball Australia and key stakeholders about all potential venues, including Newcastle, in due course.”
Inaugurated in 1963 and staged every four years, the event sees 16 teams battle for 10 days to win the title of International Netball Foundation (INF) world champion.
This will be the fourth time Australia has hosted the World Cup, after Perth in 1967 and Sydney in 1991 and 2015.
Netball Australia’s website boasts NSW is spoilt for choice when it comes to venue options.
“One of the reasons Sydney was chosen as the host city is because there is no shortage of world-class netball facilities in Sydney and the greater NSW area.
“Sydney’s Olympic precinct, with Qudos Bank Arena and the brand-new Ken Rosewall Arena is an obvious choice but there are options as far north as Newcastle and south to Wollongong that could comfortably play host to matches.”
Netball Australia chair Paolina Hunt said securing the 2027 World Cup was another critical step in the rapid development of the sport.
“An enormous amount of work went into our bid and it’s thrilling to think that we can now begin to transform our vision into reality,” she stated.
“We know that netball plays a key role in connecting and empowering young women and girls and an event such as this is a north star for young athletes who can now dream of working to represent the Diamonds in front of huge home crowds.”
The Australian Government provided $350,000 to Netball Australia to support the development of its successful bid.
Since its inception in 1963, there has been 15 World Championships, Australia’s Diamonds winning gold at the 1991 and 2015 competitions.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the event would be a major on-going boost to the state.
“We are delighted to be welcoming the world’s best netballers and their supporters and families to NSW for this event in 2027, which will deliver enormous economic and social benefits to our state for years to come,” Ms Berejiklian said.
International Netball Federation president Liz Nicholl, CBE, added: “Australia put in a strong bid and we are confident they will deliver an excellent event in the city of Sydney, as we have seen Netball Australia do so in the past.
“As our sport continues to grow and evolve at an unprecedented rate around the globe, we look forward to working with the organising committee and Netball Australia on netball’s growth and development whilst delivering a thrilling world-class event that will no doubt inspire all and work towards creating a better world through netball.”
The 2023 Netball World Cup will take place in Cape Town South Africa with the Origin Australian Diamonds also due to compete for national honours at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.