Hockey New Zealand has big plans for everyone's favourite sporting team.
The Dominion Post can reveal HNZ is looking to build on the Black Sticks women's eye-catching Olympic campaign by staging an annual international tournament, starting in Auckland next year.
The other teams involved are tipped to be Australia, Argentina and one from Asia, either Korea or China.
HNZ chief executive Hilary Poole would not go into specifics about the proposed event but confirmed a feasibility study was under way, in conjunction with Sport New Zealand.
The bottom line for HNZ administrators is to ensure the tournament is financially sustainable.
Poole pointed to the Azlan Shah men's tournament held in Malaysia each year as the model HNZ is pursuing.
The Azlan Shah is FIH (International Hockey Federation) sanctioned but the management and responsibility rests with the local administration.
Poole said if HNZ managed to get its event over the line, it too, would be FIH sanctioned.
"The challenge is to develop a major event property that we own, that brings the best teams in the world to New Zealand," Poole said.
"To bring the best in the world down here on a regular basis would be fantastic."
This development has been given a higher priority than getting New Zealand provincial teams playing in the Australian national league.
Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager believes his players need to be exposed to the Australian league but if that is to happen it will on the basis of individuals rather than teams.
As of last night five of captain Kayla Sharland's Olympic Games team in London are in line to play for various Australian national league teams when their competition starts in October.
Poole talked about "affordability and priorities" when discussing the idea of getting New Zealand teams into the Australian national league.
"It won't happen in 2013, possibly 2014 in some capacity," she said.
"It is not at the top of our short term priority list, it is in our medium term list.
"It is a question of affordability," she said.
"If we just put teams into the Australian competition, how does Hockey New Zealand fund that.
"There is no revenue generation for us, whereas if we have an event or are partners to an event there is an opportunity to put a commercial model (together)."
HNZ has a sugar daddy in philanthropist Owen Glenn, but it seems it isn't as simple as going cap in hand to him to fulfil its wishlist.
"He's supportive, but we need to be looking at our commercial partners," Poole said.
Meanwhile, it is hoped the Black Sticks women will be in action at home later in the year, Poole said.
She is working through "two options". Beyond that both the women and the men are being lined up for home series in February-March next year.
The Black Sticks men will have a new coach by then, with Shane McLeod choosing not to seek an extension to his contract which runs out at the end of the year.
Poole said there had been "good early interest" for the men's position and interviews would be held by the end of September.
- © Fairfax NZ News