Hockey World Cup: Two host stadiums in a state that is now synonymous with hockey

In only six days, the 15th FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup will get underway in Odisha. Everybody can pretty much see how much excitement there is for the event as each day goes by.

The mineral-rich state has a long history of involvement with hockey. Over a hundred national-level players, including Sunita Lakra, Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, Lazarus Barla, Jyoti Sunita Kullu, and many more, have come from Odisha.

Many players from Odisha are currently part of the Indian men’s and women’s national teams, including Amit Rohidas, Shilanand Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Nilam Xess, and Namita Toppo.

The Odisha government has made significant investments in international hockey over the past 20 years, hosting a number of major multi-nation competitions like the FIH World Cup, FIH Men’s Junior World Cup, FIH Series Finals, FIH World League, FIH Champions Trophy, and the FIH Hockey Pro League.

IANS provides you with information on the venues where the world’s top hockey teams will play for the coveted trophy prior to the start of the huge sporting event.

Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

One of the two locations for the FIH Men’s World Cup 2023 is the Kalinga Stadium. The historical region of the same name in eastern India, which includes all of the contemporary state of Odisha as well as portions of two other Indian states—Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh—gives the stadium its name.

The Kalinga Hockey Stadium is a component of the multi-use Kalinga International Stadium, which also includes an eight-lane synthetic track for athletic competition, a number of high-performance centres, a football stadium, an Olympic swimming pool, and many other things.

It houses equipment for swimming, sport climbing, football, hockey, tennis, table tennis, basketball, and volleyball.

Bhubaneswar residents are well-known in the hockey community for the sizable crowds they bring to international hockey games played in the city.

Due to the atmosphere the large audiences generate, several players from different hockey-playing nations also cite Bhubaneswar as their preferred location to play hockey.

Since about ten years ago, the Kalinga Hockey Stadium has developed into a centre for hockey worldwide. When the stadium won the privilege to host the Champions Trophy in 2014, it has already staged its first significant international competition.
The 2017 Hockey World League Finals brought the top eight teams in the world to Odisha to compete in front of a capacity crowd as a result of the event’s success.

A year later, the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup was held in Bhubaneswar, and this time it was the Kalinga Stadium that stole the show.

Since that time, the Indian hockey team has called the Kalinga Stadium its home. Both the men’s and women’s teams have practised there, and they have also played their home games during the FIH Hockey Pro League there.

The Kalinga Stadium hosted the FIH Men’s Junior World Cup in 2021 as well.

Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium, Rourkela

One of the two venues for the FIH Men’s World Cup 2023 is the Rourkela, India, location, the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium.

Birsa Munda, a tribal freedom fighter and folk hero who led the millenarian movement that formed in the Bengal Presidency in the late 19th century, is honoured by having the stadium named in his honour. He is regarded as a pivotal role in the history of the Independence movement.

One of the largest cities in Odisha, Rourkela is well known for housing a number of industrial facilities, including one of the country’s first steel plants.

The city is also strategically located in the Sundargarh district, in the heart of Odisha’s eastern hockey region, which has produced a number of top hockey players for India, including former captain Dilip Tirkey, who holds the record for most caps in Indian men’s hockey history and is currently the organization’s president.

The stadium is intended to provide the local hockey infrastructure the much-needed boost it needs, opening the door for future players to have access to world-class facilities right in their own backyard.

On 15 acres of land on the Biju Patnaik University of Technology campus in Rourkela, also known as the “Steel City,” the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium was constructed.

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