By Joel Essex
England hockey star Stuart Rushmere has hailed the ‘game changing’ opportunity for the sport to host matches at the iconic Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after visiting the venue for the first time today as part of a joint England and Wales bid for the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2026.
With less than 50 days to go until the International Hockey Federation (FIH) make their decision on where to host the tournament, Rushmere joined over 20 other England and Wales players at the state-of-the-art stadium where both the semi-finals and the final would be played, to get a glimpse of what it might be like to walk out there in four years’ time.
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.
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 and will see more than 320,000 tickets made available, making it the biggest Hockey World Cup in history.
However, the Finals Weekend would head to the 62,850 seat stadium, which also hosts a number of other major sports events including NFL matches, with hockey hoping to build on the success of the home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.
Said Rushmere: “It was an amazing experience to come to the stadium and get a feel for what it might be like to actually play here.
Winning the bid, hosting the World Cup and playing games here would be game changing for hockey and men’s hockey in particular and would give us such a big opportunity to grow the sport.
Playing in front of big crowds at the Commonwealth Games was a great experience but this would be on another level. We’ve seen this summer how the country got behind the Commonwealth Games and the Women’s Euros – it would be amazing for hockey to experience something similar in four years.”
To register your support for the England and Wales 2026 Back The Bid campaign, please visit: https://www.englandhockey.co.uk/backthebid