In what is a significant development in the field of hockey in India, Odisha is set for another major expansion. The city of Rourkela will have the largest (area-wise) hockey stadium in the country.

Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik announced the decision for the same on Thursday. The 20,000-capacity new stadium, which is slated to begin construction soon, would be developed in a bid to host the 2023 Men's World Cup.

"As we have announced earlier, Odisha will once again be the proud host of the prestigious Men's Hockey World Cup in 2023. The tournament will be organized both in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela," Patnaik said in a video message on Twitter.

Patnaik was notable of the fact that Sundergarh district has produced renowned hockey players in the past, who have represented India at the international level. Players like Dilip Tirkey and Sunita Lakra once led Team India in the sport.

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"Popularity of hockey can be seen across the district. The support of people of the district to hockey players is unparalleled anywhere in the world," continued Patnaik.

"As a tribute to the contribution of Sundergarh to Indian Hockey, I would like to announce that we will build a new International level Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, with a seating capacity of 20,000. I hope it will emerge as the best venue for hockey in the world," he concluded.

A delegate from the state government, International Federation of Hockey (FIH), Department of Sports and Youth Services and Hockey India recently visited the city and reviewed the upcoming venue's infrastructure and facilities, that will be spread over 15 acres of land. As per reports, work to develop synthetic hockey turf for each block is already underway.