A DECISION about whether Tamworth will host the Wellington Phoenix ahead of the A-League season is expected to be made on Thursday.
Tamworth, Canberra and Wollongong are confirmed to be the three front runners to host the club as some of its players prepare for the upcoming season, which begins on December 27.
A Phoenix spokesperson said the successful city would need to meet "specific needs".
"Ideally our choice of location comes down to some pretty specific club needs - accommodation, training facilities (including pitch), stadiums available local support and of course cost," the spokesperson said.
"These are our primary considerations we're looking at, regardless of any word of mouth."
If successful, the Phoenix would be the second New Zealand-based club to call Tamworth home, after the Warriors quarantined at Scully Park at the beginning of the NRL season.
However, unlike the Warriors, only the Phoenix's international players would have to quarantine while in Tamworth.
"It won't be a quarantine-isolated hub situation like was necessary during the 2019-20 season re-start, it's likely we'll have some players living together in a communal space," the spokesperson said.
"We'll also have players living in separate apartment-style housing as well, especially those players bringing their families or partners with them.
"Any hub will likely be a training hub only, as in place with a suitable training pitch, gym facilities etc."
The spokesperson said the club had been in contact with the Warriors about considering Tamworth as an option.
"Canberra, Wollongong and Tamworth are three locations the club has explored, as well as others, for the Phoenix to be based at for the start of the 2020/21 A-League season, but no final decision has been made on this as yet," the spokesperson said.
"We were in contact with the Warriors earlier in the season and they had good things to say about Tamworth and their experiences there."
Wests Entertainment Group chief executive officer (CEO) Rod Laing said the club would be more than welcome at Scully Park.
"Any New Zealand side would be welcomed at Scully Park by Wests and we would welcome the Phoenix absolutely," Mr Laing told the Leader.
"I feel as though the success of the Warriors' stay at Wests earlier in the year should hold us in good stead to host the Phoenix."