Keeping an eye on the 2018 Hockey World Cup, the Odisha state government has decided to double Kalinga Stadium sitting capacity by two times, a state government official announced. Apart from that, the second hockey turf inside the stadium premises will also be completed by July this year.
Thanks to its world-class turf and the availability of logistical facilities close to the stadium, Kalinga Hockey Stadium, home to HIL franchise Kalinga Lancers, has carved a distinct niche for itself and recently, in December, also hosted Hockey World League finals. The stadium, which has hosted many bilateral Test series, is making itself ready for the upcoming Hockey World Cup, scheduled to be held in November this year. While the Federation of International Hockey gave their green light for the current structure, the state government, though, decided to double the capacity.
"The capacity of spectators at the main hockey stadium would be doubled. Importance is being given to world-class lighting, best infrastructure and a stay worth remembering for the guests," Odisha government chief secretary AP Padhi told OTV after a review meeting.
Padhi has also informed that the new turf – that has been on the Jaydev Vihar side of the city - installed in both the stadiums as per the Olympic regulations while the old turf will now be used in Rourkela and Sambalpur Hockey stadiums, which lies on the western belt of the state and has been the hub of Odisha hockey for the longest time, having produced former Indian captains like Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, and Prabodh Tirkey.
Hockey India CEO Elena Norman, who was also present at the review meeting, said, "Everything is on track, we are now finalizing on the seating capacity. Tickets sales will be made available in a couple of months."
Sports and Youth Affairs secretary Vishal Dev, has informed that the promotion of the Hockey World Cup will be carried out in each and every block in the state and LED panels will be installed in every district headquarters to create a vibe for the spectators to watch live matches during the hockey tournament.