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Tottenham stadium proposed as venue for ‘transformative’ Men’s Hockey World Cup

England Hockey has proposed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the setting for the 2026 Men’s Hockey World Cup finale as the country looks to secure hosting rights to the showpiece event.

The 62,850-seat facility is one of four stadiums included in England Hockey’s bid, along with the Twickenham Stoop, Cardiff Arms Park and Northampton’s cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, which are all primarily rugby union venues. England Hockey said the bid is aimed at transforming the sport and showcasing it on the world stage.

Under a proposal from England Hockey and Hockey Wales, a third of the event would take place outside of London at the Cardiff and Northampton venues. Non-hockey stadiums will be able to host matches by installing the Big Stadium Hockey portable pitch technology.

England Hockey is proposing an event with “inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability” at its heart, with a social impact programme that can benefit host cities and the wider hockey community.

More than 300,000 tickets would be made available, with prices starting from £5 (€5.97/$6.08). Global sports marketing company CSM Sports & Entertainment would lead the commercial delivery of the event across sponsorship, ticketing and hospitality.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has also received bids from Germany, South Africa and Belgium/Netherlands to host the 2026 Men’s World Cup. The bids from South Africa and Belgium/Netherlands propose hosting the event alongside the Women’s World Cup at the same time.

England Hockey has urged fans across the UK to back its bid in the hope that a strong show of support will convince the FIH to award the event to England and Wales.

The World Cup would be the latest non-football event to take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The venue has hosted NFL games, rugby league’s Challenge Cup final and the boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk, while later this year it will stage its first international rugby union match when the Barbarians take on an All Blacks XV.

In a joint statement, England Hockey chief executive Nick Pink and Hockey Wales chief executive Ria Burrage-Male said: “All of us within the sport know how amazing hockey is, and by hosting a World Cup on home soil, at Cardiff Arms Park, cinch Stadium Franklin’s Gardens, Twickenham Stoop and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we would create the opportunity to take hockey to new fans and new cities. The event showcases the best the sport has to offer on the pitch, and also creates a platform to build a lasting social impact through the sport across the UK.

“With the Commonwealth Games currently taking place in Birmingham we’ve seen great support for international hockey with now more than a million tickets sold for hockey in the UK since London 2012. We’d like to encourage the hockey community to Back The Bid, your support is absolutely essential to our bid and how we can deliver the most impactful hockey event ever seen on these shores.”

Andrew Owen, managing director for major events at CSM Sports & Entertainment, added: “Football fans, NFL fans and rugby fans may be accustomed to seeing their teams perform in stadia like those at Spurs or the Stoop. But for hockey fans this will be something truly special as they see their sport on the biggest stage of all – the atmosphere will be electric.

“Using proven technology we will transform the event experience for players, fans and the media. This represents a step-change for a sport that is something of a sleeping giant. Our stadium model allows hockey to take its place alongside some of the other big World Cups in cricket, basketball and rugby.”

The last time the Men’s Hockey World Cup took place in England was 1986, when London played host. London hosted the women’s event in 2018, which at the time was the biggest standalone female sporting event ever held in England.

The FIH is scheduled to announce the winning bid for the 2026 men’s event in November.

Image: Omri Yamin on Unsplash