UK firms to build football complex in China



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Dalian China Football Complex

UK consortium Zaha Hadid and UK-based international sports architecture practice AFL Architects has won the bid in context with the ambitious project of building a 260,000 sq m football complex in Dalian, China.

Zaha Hadid Architects has been involved in the early master plan layout and the final proposal/General Arrangement drawings (GA) plans were mainly delivered by AFL Architects. Local architects and designers are also involved to realize the project.

The expansive campus will comprise 23 regulation-size pitches, a hotel, gardens, and a select number of short-stay residential units, according to the reports. The US$297m facility will also function as a training ground and academy for professional teams and youth clubs, including Dalian Yifang FC.

The ambitious project is being developed by Chinese conglomerate, Wanda Group, who acquired Dalian Yifang last year after the company sold its 17 percent stake in Atletico Madrid.

In a statement, Wanda Group said the scheme would address the “lack of continuity in China’s football talent pipeline”.

“The number of youth players in Dalian is less than a tenth of what it was at its peak,” said the company. “The first thing we intend to do is build a youth training system, which shows that Wanda has identified the core factor to promote the revitalization of football in Dalian.”

The first stage of the development is expected to be completed in December.

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