The Kalinga Stadium was a sight to behold when the 2014 hockey Champions Trophy was held there in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. With the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow possibly being the only exceptions, hockey stadiums all around India had not had enormous lineups for tickets at the box office outside the stadium and no place to even stand inside during India matches. Long-standing ties between Odisha and Indian hockey only deepened over the years, to the point where the state purchased Kalinga Lancers, a team in the Hockey India League, and then accomplished the unthinkable by supporting both the men’s and women’s national teams.
In 2018, Hockey India and the state of Odisha made their first “sponsorship” hug, which lasted five years. Even before the initial five-year contract period ended, a 10-year extension, until 2033, was announced because of how well it warmed up.
Similar to Bhubaneswar in 2014, three additional new locations were used by Indian hockey over the following two years: Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh for the 2015 Test series against Australia, Raipur for the FIH Hockey World League Final, and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh for the 2016 Junior World Cup, which saw India win the competition for the second time in history.