Pitch perfect: Auckland Airport unveils grandstands in its arrivals hall as football fever takes hold

30 June 2023

  • International arrivals hall turned into a football pitch, complete with grandstands
  • Large welcome sign painted on the approach to the runway with ‘Game On!’ message, welcoming teams and fans to Aotearoa, New Zealand
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ expects more than 30,000 international visitors to New Zealand, including around 20,000 from the USA.

Ahead of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, Auckland Airport has unveiled its new-look International Arrivals area with a grandstand and mock football field to welcome players and fans, ahead of the tournament.

Auckland Airport Chief Customer Officer Scott Tasker said they wanted to give players and fans a warm Kiwi welcome to the host city and create a moment that resembles walking out of a player’s tunnel and onto the pitch.

Welcoming sports heroes to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is something we’ve been really looking forward to, so we’re showing our support for this global women’s sporting tournament by creating an arrivals experience like no other. We can’t wait to see the teams start to arrive from next week and the community enjoying the space.”

Kitted out with a 22 by 17 metre football field, people can get into the spirit of the event and welcome their favourite teams into the country.

In addition, a giant ‘Game On!’ welcome sign will be painted on the grass at the Eastern end of the runway. Spanning 80 by 40 metres, it will greet an estimated 80 per cent of passengers as they fly in to land.

Auckland Airport is the main gateway to New Zealand, and we have a unique opportunity to make a special first impression Kiwi style,” commented Mr Tasker.

During July and August, we expect 1.7m seats to operate domestically and 2.1m to operate on the international network. This represents approximately 90% of seats relative to Jul/Aug 2019.

“We’re seeing more travellers during the end of July and into August than on some of our busiest days during the school holidays. This will largely be due to the sporting events at this time of year, being the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ and the All Blacks playing in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup,” said Mr Tasker.

The ‘Game On!’ welcome message follows the success of the ‘Kia Ora’ runway sign in May 2022, which greeted travellers post-Covid when travel opened back up.

While waiting for their favourite team or player, or to welcome friends and loved ones in the international arrivals hall, people will be encouraged to “fly their flag”. Using a dedicated tablet, airport visitors can select their favourite team flag as backdrop on an animated screen for their personalised photo.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ official mascot Tazuni™ will also be at the terminal at select times.

Auckland Airport thanks Tātaki Auckland Unlimited – Host City for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ – for their support in creating these experiences. It is another example of the partnership between the two organisations.

For more information on the tournament, head to: https://www.aucklandnz.com/fifa-womens-world-cup


Notes to Editors

  • Images are available here.
  • Photo Opportunities: Auckland Airport will have the official FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ mascot, Tazuni™, available for photo opportunities. Currently pencilled in for the below dates. If you would like to capture images/footage, please contact Auckland Airport media team
  • Thursday 6th July: 8.30am – 11.30am
  • Friday 7th July: 9am – 12pm
  • Saturday 8th July: 8am – 11am
  • Monday 10th July: 7.45am – 10.45am
  • Tuesday 11th July: 6.30am – 9.30am

For further information, please contact:

Laura Platts
[email protected]
021 040 5859