FIFA U-20 World Cup delivers boost to NZ

Men's U-20s celebrate their first ever win in the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Friday. Photo by Getty Images

A report was released today showing that the FIFA U-20 World Cup was a success for New Zealand, delivering a positive impact to the country’s economy and a significant boost for football profile, infrastructure and participation.

The report which was presented by the then FIFA U-20 World Cup CEO Dave Beeche to both FIFA and the NZ Government as part of the Post Event Report, included an independent economic impact assessment.

Click Here for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Economic Impact Report

Key highlights of the report include:

  • An increase in national GDP of $30.42m providing a 134% return on national investment.
  • Over 50,000 bed nights resulting from international visitors to New Zealand.
  • Around 301,274 spectators, including sold out matches for the first game and the final.
  • A gross operating surplus of over $2.1m.
  • A total of $5m investment in infrastructure for New Zealand Football, including playing fields and equipment, particularly by rebuilding football pitches in Christchurch.
  • An increase of 13.4% in youth football participation in 2015.
  • Over 1,000 new volunteers with an interest in volunteering again to support in New Zealand.
The Men's U-20s at the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this year. Photo by

The Men’s U-20s at the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this year. Photo by

Dave Beeche said it was pleasing to be able to report on the measurable achievements of the tournament. “The successful delivery of this tournament has further boosted New Zealand’s growing reputation for hosting major international events,” said Beeche. “Reports on international broadcast show significant coverage in New Zealand’s priority markets, with matches viewed by over 36 million people in China and 18 million in Brazil.

“In New Zealand the event captured the hearts of the public, and we were delighted that over 300,000 people attended matches, despite some challenging weather conditions, and a further 1 million people in New Zealand tuned in to watch the event on television. It was particularly great to see the ethnic communities of participating teams lighting up our stadia with their passionate support.


“To deliver an event of this complexity and scale with a significant gross operating surplus is a huge achievement for the thousands of staff, volunteers, host cities and other stakeholders who worked so hard. There is no doubt this tournament leaves a positive legacy for football and the New Zealand events industry.”

Deryck Shaw, the New Zealand Football (NZF) President, said the Local Operating Committee and everyone involved in delivering such a high quality event should be congratulated.

“Without doubt the tournament has not only delivered, but also provided a significant message to New Zealand that football is a global sport and that the whole country should get behind New Zealand Football as it continues to reposition the game in our sporting landscape,” said Shaw. “We are also very appreciative of the considerable support provided by FIFA, including their increased financial contribution, event promotion and marketing support.”

New Zealand Football President Deryck Shaw on the impact of the FIFA U-20 World Cup

After fulfilling financial commitments around the tournament there was a net operating surplus of $2.152m.  NZF noted there were a number of partners that financially invested in hosting the tournament and the distribution of surplus funds to each of these will assist in the ongoing development of the game.  Of this:

  • NZ Football Federations received $175k ($25k for each of the seven federations) which will assist each around their ongoing investment in the successful “Whole of Football Programme” (supported by Sport NZ) with specific spend on the new Youth Framework, and talent pathways.
  • OFC Member Associations received $100k ($10k for each of the other ten member associations in Oceania). The OFC member associations have a range of programmes delivering football development across the Oceania Confederation.
  • FIFA has received $500k to continue to invest in the development of the game.
  • MBIE has received $500k which will go back into the development and hosting of future major events in New Zealand.
  • The balance of $877k will be used by NZF to invest in the Youth Development Framework delivery, the achievement of our growth goals in the new strategy and the talent space to ensure opportunities for players into pathways for Elite Teams, as well as on field success at the Youth level.
Serbia celebrate their FIFA U-20 World Cup crown. Photo by

Serbia celebrate their FIFA U-20 World Cup crown. Photo by

Shaw noted the event would not have been successful without the full support and investment made by the NZ Government.

This partnership with the NZ Government, FIFA, Oceania Football Confederation, New Zealand Football Federations, and local authorities in the host cities was a significant part of the tournament’s overall achievement.

As an example of its success Craig Rhodes, the Chair of Mainland Football, was delighted to be able to assist in the running of such a successful event.

“The support of so many volunteers from within our region, who willingly gave up so much of their time to make the event the success it was, is acknowledged,” said Rhodes.

“Many took annual leave from work to carry out daily, so many of the tasks required. It demonstrates best how far our beautiful game really connects within the community.”  He noted that “to get a financial return  on top of that, for which we are able to reinvest back in to the game, and at a grass roots level, is both a complete surprise, and gratefully received.”

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