Rourkela hockey venue to set design yardstick



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India Odisha new field hockey stadium update Feb 2021 Image: Mohammad Suffian

The Chief Minister of the Indian State of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, recently laid the foundation stone of the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium, India’s biggest hockey stadium, in Rourkela (City in Odisha).

indiatoday.in sources stated that scheduled to be completed by 2022, ahead of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup, the 20,000-capacity stadium is set to add glitter to the Steel City of Rourkela.

The futuristic stadium will co-host the event from January 13th-29th, 2023, along with State capital Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Hockey Stadium.

The Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup is an international field hockey competition organized by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The tournament was started in 1971. It is held every four years, bridging the four years between the Summer Olympics. Pakistan is the most successful team, having won the tournament four times.

In 2023, India will host the competition for a record fourth time since its inception in 1971. The tournament is slated to be held in Bhubaneswar (capital of Odisha) and Rourkela from January 13th-29th, 2023.

The Kalinga Stadium is a multipurpose international stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. It is situated in the heart of Bhubaneswar near Nayapalli area. It has facilities for athletics, soccer, field hockey, basketball, tennis, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, wall climbing, and swimming.

thehindu.com sources stated that named after the 20th century freedom fighter Birsa Munda, the new arena will be located on the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) campus at Rourkela.

indiatoday.in sources quoted Chief Minister Patnaik as stating, “It will set a new benchmark in global stadium design for hockey, offering one of the finest spectator experiences in the world.”

Patnaik had unveiled plans for the innovative project in December 2020.

Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra has said that the largest field hockey facility in the country would be developed within one year.

Mohapatra added that the stadium would be built on 15 acres of land, along with the main pitch stadium there would be practice pitches with floodlights, accommodation for players, a media center, gym, hydrotherapy, parking lots and other ultra-modern facilities of a world-class level.

It intends to become a model for sustainable, functional and cost-effective design, with fans to get a close view of the pitch action.

“Sundergarh (town in Odisha), which has immense contribution to Indian hockey, bears the true spirit of the national game. Hockey is the identity of Sundergarh. The hockey players of Sundergarh have earned fame for the nation. Hockey spirit is in the air and water of Sundergarh,” Patnaik elucidated.

“It is a matter of pride that India has been selected to host the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup leaving behind countries like Belgium and Australia,” he added.

Ambitious infrastructure projects worth INR 5,000 ( INR 5 billion) to support Rourkela’s centerpiece is also being proposed with the Chief Minister laying foundation stones for drinking water, irrigation, health services, roads and bridges, sanitation, smart city development, clean environment with sports infrastructure being at the core of Sundargarh district’s development.

Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Odisha, Tusharkanti Behera, said in a statement that the Government would create all necessary arrangements to host players, officials, sports enthusiasts from around the world, and give them a memorable experience.

The Hockey India governing body will oversee the construction of the stadium at Rourkela.

Hockey India (sole body responsible towards promoting hockey in India) President Gyanendro Ningombam has informed that a delegation of senior officials from Hockey India had made a visit to Rourkela where they were joined by officials from the Odisha State Government to assess the infrastructure work being carried out in the Steel City ahead of the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup India 2023.

The delegation had reviewed airport upgradation work, medical and accommodation facilities, traffic, security and local transportation facilities between Bhubaneswar to Rourkela.

The International Hockey Federation, commonly known by the acronym FIH, is the international governing body of field hockey and indoor field hockey. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the President is Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra.

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