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Phoenix not contemplating life on the road

The Wellington Phoenix will not become a travelling road show despite attracting a club record crowd at Eden Park as attendances at Westpac Stadium dwindle, reports The Dominion Post A crowd of 20,078 watched the Phoenix draw 1-1 with Adelaide United on Saturday.

The Auckland game is the only Phoenix home fixture to be played outside of Wellington this season, with the December 14 hosting of Brisbane Roar at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium allocated by the A-League as part of its 'regional round' concept.

Phoenix marketing manager David Dome also ruled out the prospect of rebranding the Phoenix the New Zealand Phoenix.

"We certainly want to make the Phoenix a property that is supported across New Zealand but we believe we can do that by remaining as the Wellington Phoenix," Dome said.

"We get very good support from our sponsors who see us as a national property with Wellington in the name and there's no doubt about it, we're Wellington, we're not a national representative team. We don't believe that we have to have New Zealand in our name and we're happy that we can retain our unique identity as a Wellington-based team."

The bumper crowd came a fortnight after only 5090 fans turned out at Westpac Stadium to watch the Phoenix lose to the Central Coast Mariners.

Dome admitted that was a concern, with the club needing crowds of 10,000 to break even.

"We need to get around 10,000 at Westpac to make it a viable proposition. So when you get 5000 on a Friday night, it's not good for us, no."

Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin have now all put up compelling cases to host more Phoenix matches and, while the preference was to take just one game on the road per season, Dome said the final decision would be made on a "case by case basis".

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