England Hockey confirms new indoor finals venue
12 Apr 2005 10:22
England Hockey has confirmed that the 2006 Indoor Finals will be held at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham.
It was a difficult decision to move away from the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace where nearly all of hockey’s major domestic indoor events have been run since 1975. Since 2001, when the Men’s and Women’s competitions were conducted together, Finals Night has seen sell-out crowds of 1100 with many more disappointed at being unable to get tickets.
However the move to the NIA offers an opportunity to improve the event and the profile of the sport. It will allow an increase in spectator numbers and give greater accessibility for hockey supporters from around the country. In addition it is fully geared up for television filming and England Hockey will be seeking TV coverage of the action.
The NIA is one of the top indoor arenas in the country and will provide a magnificent setting for the Indoor Finals. Since opening in 1991 the venue has played host to more World & European events than any other sporting arena in the UK, including the World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2003, the World Badminton Championships in 1993 & 2003 and the World Judo Championships 1999.
“We look forward to welcoming the England Hockey Finals Night to the National Indoor Arena. Birmingham is a City with a proud sporting tradition and is keen to develop a long term relationship with the sport,” Mike Osborne, Senior Sports Events Manager at the NIA, said.
“Indoor Finals Night is a great event and we believe that the move to the NIA will allow us to make it even better,” Stephen Barlow, Competitions & Events Manager at England Hockey, said.
The Finals in 2006 will be played on Sunday 5 February, with the move away from Friday evening to assist people wishing to travel to the event. Half of the main hall will be used for the finals with a maximum capacity of 5000. In addition to the Men’s and Women’s Indoor Semi Finals and Finals it is planned to also hold the finals of the Boys and Girls U16 and U18 competitions to complete a full day of indoor hockey.