AAP Soccer

Phoenix commit to Eden Park A-League games

By AAP Newswire

Wellington have committed to play four games at Eden Park across the next two A-League seasons to acknowledge the support they have received in Auckland.

New Zealand's largest sports venue has pulled in considerably bigger crowds to watch the Phoenix than Wellington, prompting the scheduling of two more games over each of the next two seasons.

The country's only fully professional club has attracted an average of about 8000 fans this season to Wellington's Sky Stadium.

Meanwhile, crowds of around 9000 and 15,000 have watched the Phoenix beat Western Sydney and Melbourne City, following on from an attendance in excess of 20,000 last season against Melbourne City.

Phoenix general manager David Dome said it made good sense to maintain a presence in Auckland, where the club had an obvious support base.

Wellington have won four and drawn three of their seven games at Eden Park.

The on-field success and crowd numbers in Auckland are ironic, given the history of New Zealand teams in the Australian national league.

Wellington's predecessors were the Football Kingz and New Zealand Knights, who were both Auckland-based and struggled badly in front of small crowds during their short-lived existences.