1 May 2014

West Ham and Newcastle visit tops $2 million

7:22 am on 1 May 2014

It's costing more than $2 million to bring two English Premier League football sides to play pre-season games against the Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.

West Ham United and Newcastle United will tour the country in July, playing games against the Phoenix and Sydney FC in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.

The Phoenix's ownership group Welnix is shouldering most of the cost, but the Wellington City Council has also made a contribution.

Phoenix general manager David Dome says they're confident the appeal of the visiting clubs will allow them to recover their costs through ticket sales.

Dunedin will host the tour opener with Newcastle playing Sydney on July 23rd, while West Ham will play the Phoenix in Auckland the following day, with Wellington hosting a double header on July 26th with the Phoenix playing Newcastle and West Ham playing Sydney.

It will be the first time in the Southern Hemisphere that two English Premier League clubs have played on the same ground on the same day.

Newcastle United boast the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran while West Ham will bring All Whites skipper Winston Reid and England international Andy Carroll with them.