Except Bhubaneswar why other states haven’t hosted international Hockey

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In 2014 Odisha’s capital Bhubaneshwar hosted Hockey Champions Trophy Tournament for the first time in Kalinga Stadium was a sight to behold, not a place to even stand inside during india matches, was something hockey stadia across India hadn’t witnessed for a long time, and after this match they travelled to three other new venues over the next two years: Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh for the 2015 Test series against Australia, Raipur in Chhattisgarh for the FIH Hockey World League Final and then to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh for the 2016 Junior World Cup, which turned out to be India’s historic second triumph in the tournament. it was Odisha’s handshake with Indian hockey, a long one, that only grew stronger over the ensuing years — to the point that the state bought Hockey India, with the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow perhaps being the only exceptions. 

League franchise Kalinga Lancers and then did the unthinkable by sponsoring the Indian men’s and women’s teams. The first of those ‘sponsorship’ hugs between Hockey India and the state of Odisha in 2018 was a five year commitment. It warmed up so nicely that an extension of 10 years, until 2033, was announced even before the previous five-year contract period was over. Since then, or precisely since Odisha stepped forward to sponsor the national teams, the state of mines and minerals has managed to enjoy exclusivity when it comes to hosting international hockey matches in India, including all FIH Pro League fixtures, the 2018 men’s World Cup and also the upcoming 2023 men’s World Cup.Many reckon it’s part of the perks that come along with being a sponsor of the national teams and filling the national federation’s coffers with crores.

But Odisha’s rich hockey history in Sundergarh, Rourkela and the tribal belt, producing international stars regularly in both men’s and women’s hockey, but that doesn’t become reason enough to assume that tournaments of eminence, in this case India’s international hockey fixtures, will remain confined to Odisha because of its unmatched support.More recently, in 2021, when India won the hosting rights for a second consecutive men’s World Cup, voices in Europe particularly questioned a fourth World Cup overall, and second in a row in Odisha, being awarded to India. Even more recently, when the upcoming FIH Pro League matches were also awarded to Odisha once again.

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