Premiership Rugby club Harlequins have announced a partnership with Great Britain Hockey (GB Hockey) and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to stage international hockey games at their Twickenham Stoop home.
The move will be facilitated by ground-breaking technology which enables an international standard hockey surface to be installed on top of the 15,000-seater stadium’s grass rugby union pitch.
The fixtures will see GB’s men’s and women’s teams take on New Zealand in a double-header on 23rd June next year as part of the inaugural FIH Pro-League, a new competition on the global governing body’s calendar.
England Hockey chief executive Sally Munday described the move as “hugely exciting” and said: “The demand for tickets in the ballot showed that the appetite is there for a venue of this size, and I would like to place on record my thanks to both Harlequins and the FIH for their help in making this happen.”
Harlequins chief executive David Ellis added: “Our club has a history of innovation and adventure and we take great pride in being able to offer our neighbours and supporters the chance to see something different at The Stoop.”
GB teams will play their other games at Lee Valley at the Olympic Park, which has a capacity of up to 7,500. The games played at The Stoop, however, will likely draw the biggest crowd to watch hockey in the UK since the London 2012 Olympics.