The A-League draw for season 2016/17 has been announced and sees the Phoenix’s schedule highlighted by mostly Saturday evening games.
he Phoenix will play 14 home games in 2016/17, 10 in Wellington and at four at other venues in New Zealand.
Phoenix General Manager David Dome said that this season’s draw was extremely complex, and the Club was reasonably comfortable with how the draw has played out.
“Given the complexity of the draw this year with a number of stadia throughout the A-League unavailable this season, we are pleased we’ve got pretty much a home-away pattern.
“While ideally we would have liked late afternoon games, Saturday night games are the next best option for us which characterises our season.”
The A-League draw was complicated by a number of venues being unavailable including Wellington’s Westpac Stadium which will undergo a complete turf replacement for the first time in 16 years in December. This and the need to meet Club and FFA targets growing interest and broadcast across New Zealand has seen the Club take four home games on the road.
“We will play one less game in Wellington next season which is not too bad given the unavailability of Westpac during December.
“However, it was made clear in our licence negotiations last year that the FFA mandated the Phoenix should be playing around New Zealand, and that our average crowd is over 10,000 rather than the 8,000 it was last season.
‘’We are very focussed on the fact that crowds and viewership need to steadily improve as part of our 10 year licence agreement with the FFA, and games outside Wellington almost always increase our attendance.”
The Phoenix will play A-League matches at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, FMG Stadium in Hamilton and Yarrow Stadium New Plymouth for the first time, in addition to North Harbour’s QBE Stadium
The Phoenix will kick-off the new season with a block buster fixture against high flyers Melbourne City at Westpac Stadium on Saturday 8 October
At A Glance
10 games at Westpac Stadium, 7 x Saturday 7.30pm, 2 x Sunday 7pm, 1 x Monday 7.35pm (2 January)
1 game FMG Stadium, Hamilton. Saturday 10 December v Central Coast Mariners 7.35pm
2 games in Auckland. Mt Smart, Saturday 17 December v Western Sydney Wanderers 7.35pm. QBE Stadium Saturday 4 March v Perth Glory 7.35pm
1 game Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth. Saturday 4 February v Western Sydney Wanderers 7.35pm