Chinese basketball team plans swanky new stadium in Chengdu
Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) team Sichuan Jinqiang Blue Whale Basketball Club has kicked off the construction of a new stadium project, the Sichuan Jinqiang International Sports Events Center, in Wenjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, the home city of the club, China’s sports market intelligence group Yutang Sports reported.
According to the report, a ceremony to mark the new construction was held in August.
The stadium complex will be built in an area of 100,000 square meters. Besides the main arena, the complex will include fitness and exhibition facilities and recreational parks. The centerpiece of the project will be the large basketball stadium with a seating capacity of more than 10,000 and a 2000-seater training stadium.
The investors of the project, Sichuan Jinqiang Group, are looking at NBA stadiums for inspiration. It is reported that they have invited architects who have designed NBA stadiums to work on the Chinese project. The design will incorporate sports goods and equipment stores in the stadium, making it a meeting place of Sichuan sporting goods brands.
Development plans for the surrounding area include construction of new hotels, shopping streets and cinemas. The whole project is envisioned to create a feel similar to Madison Square Garden in New York, according to Yutang Sports.
Reports suggest Sichuan Jinqiang Group will invest 900 million Chinese yuan ($130 million) in the project. Back in 2016, after Sichuan Blue Whale won the 2015/16 season CBA championship, Zhou Shiqiang, the President of Sichuan Jinqiang Group, had already disclosed the plan to build a new home stadium for the team which would take 2-3 years to complete, Yutang Sports reported.
Sichuan Jinqiang Group bought the original Sichuan Men’s Basketball Team and turned it into the Sichuan Jinqiang Blue Whale Basketball Club in 2009. After playing in the NBL for three consecutive seasons, Sichuan Blue Whale returned to the CBA in the 2013/14 season and won the team’s first CBA championship in the 2015/16, becoming the fifth team in the history of CBA to have won the league championship.
The team’s current home stadium is the Sichuan Gymnasium which was built in the 1980s.
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