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All you need to know about Men's Hockey World Cup 2018 venue

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Feature
930   //    15 Nov 2018, 22:56 IST

The refurbished Kalinga Stadium, venue of the Men's Hockey World Cup
The refurbished Kalinga Stadium, venue of the Men's Hockey World Cup

It was confirmed by the FIH Executive Board in 2013, that India would be hosting the fourteenth edition of the prestigious Men's World Cup, after some tough competition from Malaysia, New Zealand, and Belgium during the bidding process.

In March last year, the FIH made an official announcement that the city of Bhubaneswar which had successfully hosted the 2014 edition of the Champions Trophy would be bestowed the honor of welcoming the hockey world for the global extravaganza.

Bhubaneswar's state-of-the-art Kalinga Stadium which is also the home ground of the HIL franchise, Kalinga Lancers hosted the Hockey World League Finals in December last year, but has now been upgraded and given a facelift ahead of the World Cup.

All the seven foreign teams which were part of the HWL Finals last year (Belgium, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, England, and Australia) will return to Bhubaneswar for the World Cup and they will be joined by New Zealand, France, Ireland, China, Canada, South Africa, Malaysia, and Pakistan.

Around 1100 players and officials are expected to be lodged in the city during the tournament.

The seating capacity of the Kalinga Stadium has been doubled to 15,000 with a couple of new galleries being constructed, and a brand new Olympic-standard pitch has been laid for the tournament where the Indian team is currently undergoing a preparatory camp.

Glass enclosures for the media and officials, free Wi-Fi, and improved transportation to and from the stadium will help to ensure that players and spectators alike will be treated to a world-class experience.

The practice pitches, as well as the playing pitches, have been relaid with a brand-new Olympic-standard pitch in keeping with the regulations of the FIH.

Odisha's very own hockey legend Dileep Tirkey played an exhibition match with his one-time India teammate, the ever-flamboyant Dhanraj Pillay as part of the inaugural ceremony of the new-look Kalinga Stadium last month.

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Opposite ends of the picturesque stands have "ODISHA" written in English as well Oriya and a glass facade provides a panoramic view of the proceedings on the pitch. The organizers have left no stone unturned in their endeavor to deliver an experience to cherish for all those will be part of the mega event.

Here is an overview of the World Cup venue

Complex: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

Distance from International Airport: 5.3 kilometers (15-minute drive)

Capacity: 15,000

Salient features: Olympic-standard Pink and Blue Hockey Turf

International Hockey Tournaments Hosted: Champions Trophy (2014), Hockey World League Finals (2017)



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