Rourkela: Following the success of Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018, Odisha is now gearing up to host the second consecutive Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.
While the existing iconic Kalinga Hockey stadium in Bhubaneswar has 15,000 seating capacity, the state is building a new hockey stadium, the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela with 20,000 seating capacity making it India’s largest hockey stadium.
A state government official on Tuesday said that the construction work of the Birsa Munda stadium is still on and it will be completed by October this year. “Afterwards the FIH (International Hockey Federation) officials will come here for inspection and then there will be a test event, ahead of the World Cup, to clear it,” the official said.
Named after freedom fighter ‘Birsa Munda’ this stadium with all modern hockey facilities ever designed to host the hockey World Cup, will be a sporting marvel. The design is inspired by the Colosseum. As per the project design, the new hockey stadium will be a model of green, functional, cost-effective design. Designed to deliver the best match day experience, each seat in the stadium will have uninterrupted sightlines. The spectators will be closer to the pitch than at any other hockey stadium in the world.
“The stadium is spread over 20 acres of land on the campus of Biju Patnaik University of Technology in Rourkela. It will set a new benchmark in global stadium design for hockey, offering one of the finest spectator experiences in the world.
“This Rs 200 crore stadium will boast state-of-the-art facilities, a tunnel connecting the changing room and practice pitch along with a fitness centre and a hydro-therapy pool around the pitch. It will have a separate accommodation facility that is coming alongside and will be at an additional cost of Rs 100 crore. This facility will house the players, staff and officials during the match events,” the official added.
The Sundergarh district is regarded as the ‘cradle of Hockey and Rourkela city in the district particularly has produced many internationals including Dilip Tirkey, Lazarus Barla. This stadium in Rourkela is a dedication to the district of Sundargarh which continues to nurture and groom hockey players from a very young age.
Like the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, the Birsa Munda International stadium will provide a much-needed boost to the hockey infrastructure of the place paving the way for creating hockey champions from this belt.
The foundation of this stadium was laid down by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in February 2021 and since then despite challenges of Covid, Cyclone and extreme summers, the work has been going on at full pace and will be ready on time.