THE FFA are considering shifting A-League Sydney derbies to a bigger venue next season and have already booked ANZ Stadium should the cross-town rivals meet in this campaign's grand final.
Last week's first clash of the season between Western Sydney and Sydney FC was a sell-out, amassing a record crowd of 40,388 at Allianz Stadium - trumping the Sky Blues' largest crowd for regular-season game and far exceeding last season's best figure for the derby of 26,176 at the stadium.
With the January 11 fixture between the two sides also sure to be a sell-out, the debate has again been raised over moving it from the 20,000-seater Pirtek Stadium to a larger venue like ANZ Stadium, which can accommodate over 80,000 fans.
A-League boss Damien de Bohun, while open to the possibility for next season, has all but ruled out a switch of venue for the two remaining Sydney derbies this campaign, the final one to be played on March 8 at Allianz Stadium.
De Bohun said besides the Wanderers' contractual obligations to play their home games at Pirtek Stadium, they also wouldn't want to do wrong by their 16,000 members.
"A big part of the Wanderers' success is their loyalty to their fans, they're part of the club's DNA," de Bohun said.
"They have a commitment to Parramatta as their home ground and they're committed to their fans to play their games there.
"With 16,000 members, they need to stay loyal to those fans who have brought those memberships so they can be guaranteed a place at all the big games at Parramatta.
"If the club themselves were to express an interest in moving the derby to a larger venue then we would definitely look at that."
De Bohun admitted the commercial opportunity a larger venue presented was attractive and said the FFA would look at the prospect from next season.
"There are a lot of commercial reasons why you'd look at it very seriously and we're very alive to that," he said.
"We'll definitely be looking at that when we come to fixturing next season and beyond.
"We are serious about growing the league and we think the opportunity to play matches in the future at a big venue like ANZ is something that we need to look at very seriously."
And, in an effort to capitalise on the momentum the Sydney derby is gaining de Bohun revealed the FFA had already moved to shore up the city's largest stadium should the two sides meet in this season's title-decider on May 4.
"We have placed a booking on the Olympic Stadium for grand final day in the event it plays out that way," he said.
"ANZ Stadium is being considered as a grand final across the board this season, but it becomes particularly relevant if the grand final is a Sydney derby."