Frank Warren, one of the country’s best known sports promoters, has joined forces with hockey’s National Governing Body, the England Hockey Board (EHB), to officially launch an exciting bid to bring the 2014 men’s and women’s hockey World Cups to London. If successful, it will be the first international event to be held at a legacy facility in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park following the 2012 Olympic Games.
The bid has been developed by the EHB with the support of Visit London's Events for London and UK Sport's major event teams. Together with the Olympic Park Legacy Company, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and Frank Warren, the England Hockey Board is looking to maximise the opportunity afforded to sport by the Olympic Games and, with 630,000 spectators set to attend hockey matches at London 2012, the anticipated increased interest in hockey.
A successful bid would see Warren lead the promotion and ticketing for the World Cups as part of UK Sport’s ambitious programme to bring major events to the UK after 2012. The UK has already succeeded in securing the right to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2014 Ryder Cup and the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup. If successful, it will be only the second time that both the men’s and women’s hockey World Cups have been held together.
As the first formal bid for an event at the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park following the 2012 Olympic Games, the World Cups would provide a unique opportunity for London to launch the new Lee Valley Hockey Centre legacy facility at Eton Manor.
As part of a vibrant sporting and green landscape in the north of the Park, Lee Valley Hockey Centre’s standard 3000 seat capacity would be expanded to hold 10,000 spectators with two world class pitches and dedicated media facilities, a supporters village and event management offices. Following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Lee Valley Hockey Centre will be used by a multitude of users from community groups, schools and clubs to international players for major championships.
The 14 day event would comprise of 600 players and team management from approximately 18 different nations, which could create a total economic benefit (including visitor expenditure), estimated to be in the region of between £5 million to £10 million. The diversity of London’s communities would ensure a warm welcome and enthusiastic support for every nation participating in the 2014 World Cups.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said:
"Staging the Hockey World Cups at the new state of the art Lee Valley Hockey Centre in 2014 would be a major boost to the great sporting legacy we are striving to achieve following the 2012 Games. I'm fully behind the England Hockey Board’s bid and I'm certain it will inspire many more youngsters to become skilled players at our fantastic new facility in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park."
Frank Warren said:
“I am delighted to add my weight to this impressive bid. I have promoted many great Championship Events here in London and this is going to be one of the most exciting. First of course we have to win the bid but we have a great team so let's go out and bring the World Cups to London.”
Sally Munday, Chief Executive of the England Hockey Board, said:
“The EHB’s desire to host the 2014 World Cups is part of a long term events strategy for hockey to help drive up the profile of our sport across the UK. Hosting the 2014 World Cups would provide another opportunity to engage with the 630,000 hockey ticket holders from London 2012 and we are working with the hockey community to prepare for a real increase in participation in our sport.”
Simon Morton, Head of Events at UK Sport, said:
“As the agency responsible for the bidding and staging of major international sporting events across the UK, we are delighted to be supporting the bid to host the Hockey World Cups at the Olympic Park in 2014. This event would help us in achieving our ambition of using London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 to establish the UK as the leading host of major international sporting events. Bringing events such as the Hockey World Cups to the UK in the coming years will give local economies a boost, provide home advantage to our top athletes, and create high profile opportunities to engage people with sport.”
Iain Edmondson, Head of Events for London, said:
“Events for London (part of Visit London) is delighted to be supporting the England Hockey Board’s bid to host the Hockey World Cups in 2014. The bid signifies the start of a new chapter for London’s profile as an exciting major events destination. The event would be the first real tangible sporting legacy for London post the Olympic Games and a unique opportunity for London to launch the new Lee Valley Hockey Centre at the northern end of the Olympic Park.”
Margaret Ford, Chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:
“The Olympic Park is a powerful draw for the 2014 Hockey World Cups, offering a state-of-the-art venue in an awe-inspiring setting where sports legends have made Olympic history. The World Cups would add to the melting pot of sports, culture and entertainment that will make the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park a world-wide attraction.”
Derrick Ashley, Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, said:
“Lee Valley Hockey Centre will be welcoming a huge variety of people when it opens after the London 2012 Games - from community groups, schools and clubs to the best international players in the world – and there could be no better start than looking forward to the 2014 World Cups being held here.”
photos Janos Schmidt