Hockey Wales and England Hockey marked the next step of their Back The Bid campaign today for the Men’s World Cup in 2026, from Tottenham Hotspur’s iconic stadium where the Finals Weekend would be played.
With less than 50 days to go until the International Hockey Federation (FIH) make their decision, 29 England & Wales players headed to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as they caught a glimpse of what it might be like to participate in a home World Cup and walk out in the stadium in four years’ time.
All the players were invited on a tour of the stadium with many experiencing the “The Dare Skywalk”, an attraction which sees you scale the height of the stadium and step out on a glass walkway 46.8 metres above the state-of the art pitch.
The Back The Bid campaign is designed to show the power hosting a World Cup can have in transforming the sport, bringing the Hockey community together, and reaching more diverse audiences.
As part of the transformative bid, four stadiums have been selected as event venues including the Twickenham Stoop in London, cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, and Cardiff Arms Park.
The Finals Weekend would head to Tottenham Hotspur’s iconic 62,850 seat stadium, with aspirations to recreate attendances not seen since women’s hockey was played at Wembley in the 1970s.
The scale of the stadia will allow for more than 320,000 tickets to be made available throughout the event, making it the biggest Hockey World Cup in history.
England Hockey and Hockey Wales’ bid is the first for any FIH event to be based on Big Stadium Hockey – innovative technology which allows for international standard playing surfaces to be temporarily laid at stadiums. It was first introduced in the UK three years ago at the Twickenham Stoop and enabling 12,000+ fans to watch hockey, the biggest crowd since London 2012.
A successful bid would see the Men’s Hockey World Cup return to the UK forty years on since England last hosted the tournament in 1986, two years before the men won gold in 1988. It would also follow the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup which was held in England in 2018.
England Hockey CEO Nick Pink, said: “Hosting the World Cup would be transformational for the sport in both England and Wales – bringing in new diverse audiences and further deepen engagement with existing hockey fans.”
“Our plan to take the sport to non-hockey venues and world-class stadiums across three cities will create a backdrop for audiences nationally and globally.
“We are incredibly proud to be working with Tottenham and other prestigious stadia as well as having the support of our city partners, the UK Government and Welsh Government who share our transformational ambition for hockey. Now is the time to galvanise support for our Back The Bid campaign.”
England captain and Tottenham striker, Harry Kane, commented: “I’m backing the bid for England and Wales to host the men’s Hockey World Cup in 2026. Matches are set to be played in four world-class stadiums including at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. A home World Cup will change perceptions of hockey, encourage participation, and benefit local communities – I’m backing the bid!”
Hockey Wales CEO Ria Burrage-Male, said: “The opportunity to host the World Cup and make it the biggest yet will leave a lasting legacy on the sport across Wales and England.”
“We have already seen the impact of staging major events here in the UK with the Commonwealth Games and Women’s Euros this summer - and we have no doubt a Hockey World Cup will have a similar impact.
“The final of any World Cup is a highlight but hosting it here at Tottenham’s iconic stadium will be a hockey experience like no other.”
To register your support for the England and Wales 2026 Back The Bid campaign, please visit: https://www.hockeywales.org.uk/backthebid