England Hockey and Hockey Wales, the national governing bodies for field hockey, have unveiled key details of their bid to host the 2026 FIH Men’s World Cup.
The respective organizations are seeking to “transform the sport” through the bid and take hockey to “new fans and new cities”.
The countries face competition from Germany, South Africa, and a joint bid from Belgium and Netherlands who have all submitted bids to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host the event.
England Hockey and Hockey Wales are proposing to stage the finals weekend at the 62,850-seater Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, home of the English Premier League club, with games to also be staged in London at the Twickenham Stoop.
The bid outlines a plan to also stage a third of the event outside London at Cardiff Arms Park and cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton.
The national bodies claim it would be “the biggest Hockey Men’s World Cup ever” as it would make more than 300,000 tickets available at affordable prices, starting from £5 ($6).
England Hockey and Hockey Wales have appointed global sports marketing agency CSM Sports and Entertainment to lead the commercial delivery across sponsorship, ticketing, and hospitality.
With the Commonwealth Games currently taking place in Birmingham, the hockey bodies are hoping a successful event on home soil could help boost their bid for the 2026 FIH Men’s World Cup.
The bid is supported by representatives from across the sporting landscape, with partners including UK Sport, Greater London Authority, Welsh Assembly Government, West Northamptonshire Council, Cardiff Council, Tottenham Hotspur, and rugby union clubs Cardiff Rugby, Harlequins FC, and Northampton Saints.
The initial bid submission was made in May and the FIH is scheduled to make a final decision in November.
The last men’s Hockey World Cup in England took place in London in 1986 but it has never been hosted in Wales.
In 2018, London hosted the Hockey Women’s World Cup.
The men’s edition was last held in 2018 in Bhubaneswar and the Indian city will again host the event in the country next year along with Rourkela.
The tournament is traditionally held every four years but the FIH opted to stage the next iteration in early 2023.
Nick Pink and Ria Burrage-Male, the chief executives of England Hockey and Hockey Wales, respectively, said: “We are delighted to share more details of our joint proposal for the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2026. Across all of the partners we are hugely excited about what the bid can do for hockey.
“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.”