Beijing Workers’ Stadium 360 degree change



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China update on revamp of Workers Stadium Image: Zhōnghé Gōngti

The Beijing Workers’ Stadium (China) , home to a range of large-scale sports events including the 1990 Asian Games and some soccer matches during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, will soon have a new look following a major reconstruction project that is expected to finish by December this year.

‘thebeijinger’ stated that Jin Fei, the Vice-General Manager of Zhōnghè Gōngtǐ, the operating company behind the remodel, wax eloquent about how the new ‘Gongti’ will look once it’s finished, and explains why he believes the Workers’ Stadium will become the next “happening spot” in the Sanlitun (Beijing) area once completed.

The 65,094-capacity Workers’ Stadium, often called Gongti, Gong Ti or Kung T’i, is a multipurpose stadium in the Chaoyang district of North-Eastern Beijing, China. It was mostly used for association football matches. The stadium was built in 1959 and was last renovated in 2004 (the concrete structure was strengthened, a new rotating display screen and energy-saving devices were installed). It had a capacity of 65,094 and covers a land area of 350,000 square meters (3,800,000 sq ft). It was one of the Ten Great Buildings constructed in 1959 for the tenth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The stadium was closed for permanent renovation in 2020 and will reopen in December 2022.

‘thebeijinger’ quoted Fei as stating that people will be able to see total transformation in the revamped ‘Gongti’ – “There are three main changes that have been made to ‘Gongti’. The original stadium had a running track, but after the revamp, the running track has been removed. Another big change lies in how ‘Gongti’ will be used. More than 100,000 square meters of commercial facilities have been added to the complex, transforming the area into an entertainment venue where people can eat, shop and dine. The new stadium also features a giant underground plaza which soccer fans and fitness enthusiasts can explore. Moreover, the Beijing Municipal Government has also designed a station for subway Line 3 and 17 to specifically connect to the Workers’ Stadium in order to ease traffic congestion.”

Speaking about the complex’s underground commercial space, Fei further informed that “In the Northeast corner of the stadium lies a giant sunken commercial space which we hope will eventually become one of the most popular places in Sanlitun. It will comprise restaurants, fashion and retail stores. It would be fair to say that the new Workers’ Stadium will not only become a place where people can watch soccer matches, but also one of the most vibrant entertainment venues in Beijing, one that is at par with the Taikoo Li (shopping center in the Sanlitun area) or Parkview Green (one of Beijing’s prime locations).

Talking about the lawns and lakes around the stadium, the top gun stated, “After the reconstruction, the fences that used to surround ‘Gongti’ have been removed. When you come to the Workers’ Stadium in the future, you’ll find that there will be no more walls blocking your way from entering the stadium as the entire area has been transformed into an open park. There are large green spaces around the lake where people can take part in activities such as skateboarding, basketball or even Frisbee. Moreover, when ‘Gongti’ was first built, one important goal was to promote intercultural communication. The ‘Gongti’ is situated right next to the Embassy area and many foreigners are sports enthusiasts, so we aim to create a space where people from all over the world can participate in different activities.”

He shed light on fans’ misperception that the redecorated ‘Gongti’ will not be able to host concerts – “When fans walk into the stadium, they’ll be able to notice a movable stand in the South area of the stadium. These stands have been so designed that they can be stretched and moved around in the future to hold concerts. Right now, we’ve been working out the specifics to ensure that the stage will not damage the turf. We have certainly taken fans’ suggestions into consideration and yes, the new ‘Gongti’ will be able to host concerts. It could possibly even host events like motorcycle sports, fashion shows and ice hockey games during Winter in the future.”

Fei asserted that the ‘Gongti’ enjoys an edge over other major commercial areas – “I believe that the ‘Gongti’ will attract humongous crowd once it opens because many fans are drawn to the concept of sportsmanship, which is what makes Gongti stand out. Also, compared to other event venues, Gongti has a bigger capacity, which means that we are in a position to host large-scale events that other venues simply aren’t capable of doing.”

He concluded by stating that the Workers’ Stadium holds a lot of significance for him – “I am a huge soccer fan! I’ve been watching the Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan F.C. play matches since 1992. I remember that the Xiannongtan Stadium in Beijing used to be Beijing Guoans home stadium from 1994 to 1995. At that time, we would grab our big green military jackets and cycle all the way to the stadium just to watch the game. In 1996, Beijing Guoan found its new home in the form of the Beijing Workers’ Stadium, which has been home to the soccer team now for more than 20 years. I am certainly very proud to be able to get involved in this project and become a part of its storied history.”

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