|Hockey’s supporter legacy from the London 2012 Olympic games will surpass one million fans when Great Britain play two historic games at the Twickenham Stoop in just under two weeks’ time.|
Hockey was one of the most-watched sports at the London games, with more than 630,000 tickets sold. Since then the home nations have hosted the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, EuroHockey Championships, Champions Trophy, Investec Internationals, World League and numerous domestic finals in England, the Commonwealth Games in Scotland and EuroHockey II in Wales, with more than 320,000 supporters through the gates at those events.
With the global FIH Pro League now well underway – culminating in a double header at the 15,000 capacity Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 23 June – the number of fans who have paid to see the sport from 2012 onwards will surpass one million.
In the ten years prior to 2012, an estimated 25,000 tickets were sold for international hockey events in England; and to now be surpassing one million fans in only seven years highlights the rise in the sport’s popularity since the London Olympics.
Chief Executive Sally Munday said, “First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who has supported our fantastic sport from 2012 onwards. We all knew that an Olympics in London would leave an incredible legacy, and to reach one million people watching live hockey in this country is a very significant milestone.
“Most of all, it is testament to the hockey family; our clubs and players for turning hockey into a genuine spectator sport, as well as our staff, contractors, partners and Hockey Makers for their tireless work on behalf of the sport.
“We have made a concerted effort to ensure that hockey events offer a full experience for our fans; world class hockey on the pitch, the chance to meet the players, play on the pitch after the game, value for money, the best possible fan experience and a culture of evolving our events based on customer feedback.
“We’re very excited about the FIH Pro League, we’ve had a number of great matches at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre already, and then we finish this year’s league with the double header at the Stoop, which is yet another step forward for our game.”
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said: “It’s fantastic to see, seven years on, that the legacy of London 2012 continues to deliver an impact for British sport. Hockey has really capitalised on the momentum that success in London and Rio created for their sport, and delivered major events that both showcase the sport at it’s best and engage and inspire new fans.
“It’s fitting as we celebrate the 25th birthday of The National Lottery this year to also be marking milestones like this in sports where the investment of National Lottery funding has had such a transformational effect.”
Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society said, “In 2012 we rightly committed to use the power of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire and engage a new generation of fans, grow sports like hockey and vitally boost the participation numbers across the nation.
“Seven years on, the difference is clear for all to see as we are delivering on this promise. The hockey family has done truly fantastic work to maximise the legacy of 2012 and reach this important milestone.”
New Zealand’s men and women come to the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 23 June in an historic double header, and work is well underway on the base to support the installation of a new temporary pitch in time for the matches, which will also be live on BT Sport.
England Hockey and partners are investing in new innovative pitch technology which will make it possible to play in the 15,000-capacity home of Harlequins Rugby Club. Tickets are on sale now from only £11.50 for U18s and £34 for adults; prices include entry to both fixtures.
England Hockey have been able to host major international events in conjunction with a number of partners; including UK Sport and the National Lottery, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the FIH, Mayor of London’s Office and London Legacy Development Corporation.
The hockey pitch technology at the Twickenham Stoop has been developed in conjunction with a number of partners including FIH, Polytan, Polypipe, Sports Turf Research Institute, Harlequins and Sport England.