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Northampton part of bid to host FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup

Health, leisure and parks

03 August 2022

England Men's Hockey Team

The national bid to host the 2026 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup promises a third of matches will take place at venues outside London including the cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

England Hockey and Hockey Wales confirmed details of their bid this week and hope 2026 will be the biggest Men’s Hockey World Cup so far, with 300,000 tickets available and a final set to take place at the iconic Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The hockey community and sports fans across the UK (and beyond) are being invited to show their support and excitement for the event and can Back The Bid on the England Hockey website

Cllr Greg Lunn, West Northamptonshire Council’s assistant Cabinet Member for sport and leisure, said: “Franklins Gardens is well known for rugby, but with five lady’s teams, seven men’s teams, a mixed team and a host of junior teams, the Northampton Saints hockey club is also the biggest hockey club in the county and one of the biggest in the Midlands. We also have a wealth of other top hockey clubs in and around the county.

“Just look at the massive success of the ladies' euros venues such as Wigan & Leigh, and Rotherham showing the bigger stadiums and the world how to engage with communities and opening the possibility for everyone to play ladies' football. This is something Northampton is keen to emulate with hockey. We know with our great stadium and help from our hockey clubs we can show our communities that hockey is for everyone, at any age, from any background.

“The council’s corporate priority for improving life chances includes providing healthy opportunities for all and to increase the aspirations for our young people to follow any path no matter where they’re from.

“I hope bringing the world’s top-flight hockey players to Northampton will not only be an inspiration to the next generation but will also put the town on the map for a new group of international visitors, giving short- and long-term economic boosts.”

Inclusivity and accessibility will be at the heart of the event and will include a social impact programme which will benefit the breadth of the hockey community and host communities alike.

England Hockey Chief Executive Nick Pink and Hockey Wales Chief Executive Ria Burgage 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.

“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.”

Zach Wallace, captain of England men’s hockey team, and Rupert Shipperley, captain of Wales men’s hockey team said: “The prospect of playing in a men’s World Cup on home soil is incredible and all of us in our squads are hugely excited about what may lie ahead.

“The four stadia that are being proposed are truly inspirational, and on top of that the event can leave a lasting legacy for the entire sport, helping boys and girls from all backgrounds to see hockey for the amazing, welcoming game it is.”

The initial bid submission was made in May and the FIH are scheduled to make a final decision in November of this year.

The last men’s Hockey World Cup in England took place in 1986, while in 2018 London hosted the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, at the time the biggest standalone female sporting event the country had ever seen.