Heading into the men’s 2023 Hockey World Cup to be hosted in Odisha, India is all set to get a grand new hockey stadium.
Odisha chief minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik, on Thursday, announced a brand-new hockey stadium - the largest in the country - in the steel city of Rourkela.
With a seating capacity of 20,000, the stadium with all the modern amenities imaginable will be built on 15 acres of land at the Biju Patnaik University of Technology campus in the Steel City of Odisha.
The Rourkela stadium will also act as the second venue for the 2023 Hockey World Cup alongside the Kalinga Stadium in the state capital of Bhubaneswar.
“Odisha will once again be the proud host of the prestigious Men's Hockey World Cup in 2023. The tournament will be organised both in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela,” Patnaik said during a video address.
“I hope it (Rourkela stadium) will emerge as the best venue for field hockey in the world,” he added.
Recently a high-level team, including senior officials from the Odisha government, International Federation of Hockey (FIH), Department of Sports and Youth Services and Hockey India (HI) visited Rourkela to review if the infrastructure and allied facilities in the city were adequate to host the World Cup in 2023.
Rourkela is situated in the Sundargarh district of Odisha, which has been a hotbed of hockey talent. Some notable players to have come up from the region to represent India on the international stage include Olympians Dilip Tirkey and Sunita Lakra.
The structure will also act as a tribute to the region's contribution to Indian hockey.
“Popularity of hockey can be seen across the district. The support of people of the district to hockey players is unparalleled anywhere in the world,” Patnaik stated.
The 2023 Men's FIH Hockey World Cup is set to be held from January 13 to 29 in Odisha, India. The Rourkela stadium will be completed before the event begins.