By 2026, the A-league as a domestic competition may have grown with new teams in Hobart and Canberra. And equally as the National Rugby League expands, there might be an opportunity for rectangular shaped stadiums to be built for both rugby and football.
As a tournament requires a minimum of 10 stadium with 44,000 seat capacities (taking into account the 10% of capacity not sold), there are four stadiums which immediately spring to mind as being suitable:
- MCG - 100,000 seats
- Stadium Australia - 84,000 seats
- Lang Park - 52,500 seats
- Sydney Football Ground - 45,500 seats
To avoid conflict with the NRL and AFL whose seasons clash with the timing of a FIFA World Cup, 6 additional cities would be required.
If we take Perth as an example, neither the Subiacco Oval nor the WACA are ideal for football but with Perth Glory of a A-league, Western Force of Super Rugby and a possible WA Red/Pirates NRL team, surely a 44,000 rectangular stadium could be built - maybe with a reduction in capacity post games. The NIB stadium might be a good location to start.
Equally Adelaide with two inappropriately shaped large stadiums but with an A-League team and with the NRL casting eyes in South Australia's direction could look to built a new suitable stadium. Canberra and Newcastle, the Gold Coast (Skilled Park), and Wollongong, Townsville and a sliding stand stadium in Hobart for an A-League and a AFL franchise, would surely be a bid difficult to beat and maybe more likely to be successful than bidding to host another Olympics.
Building what the Americans called 'soccer specific stadiums' expandable to the minimum seating requirements, and expanding the 10 team A-league to include teams from Canberra, Hobart, the Gold Coast, Wollongong and Townsville might give FIFA all the encouragement they need.